NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PRESS RELEASE–Columbia Care Inc., an international medical cannabis company, has announced the launch of its new initiative, “100,000,000 Ways to Break the Opioid Crisis,” a nationwide effort to test whether precisely-formulated medical cannabis can be a safe and effective alternative to opioids for pain.

Columbia Care is kicking off the “100,000,000 Ways to Break the Opioid Crisis” initiative by providing its precisely-formulated pharmaceutical-quality cannabis-based medicines for a precedent-setting study to determine whether medical cannabis can reduce participants’ dependence on opioid use in managing pain. This study, which is being conducted at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, will add to the body of knowledge to inform healthcare practices and public policies in this arena. The study is expected to be expanded to other hospitals throughout New York State and, ultimately, to other states where Columbia Care’s formulated medical cannabis products are also available.

Renowned addiction experts Dr. Chinazo Cunningham and Dr. Julia Arnsten, who are both researchers at Montefiore and Einstein, are leading the study.

“Despite the fact that millions of Americans experience chronic pain, physicians have few treatment options for these patients beyond opioids. Patients are often faced with a difficult choice, to either live with their chronic pain or risk developing an opioid use disorder,” said Cunningham.

Arnsten added, “Conducting this study will enable us to tightly control cannabinoid doses, which is critical to gathering data. This study reflects our commitment at Montefiore and Einstein to explore all potentially therapeutic options to relieve symptoms for all patients, especially patients with chronic pain. We are proud to be working with a partner like Columbia Care.”

Rosemary Mazanet, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at Columbia Care, continued, “We are honored to collaborate with experts at Montefiore and Einstein on this groundbreaking, large and rigorous scientific study needed to definitively determine whether cannabis-based medicines can be an alternative for opioid use for pain. It’s rare to participate in an initiative that has the potential to save lives, reduce healthcare costs and empower individuals with the freedom of choice–it’s very exciting.”