After a 15-month legal battle, Spotlight PA in 2022 won access to data showing the reasons why hundreds of thousands of patients qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program. We published a big investigation based on the records last year.

And we’re not the only ones using the data to better understand the state’s medical cannabis program.

In February 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of Health shared the data that Spotlight PA won access to with academic researchers across the state, according to a department spokesperson.

Researchers with the Geisinger health system seized upon the chance. “Not all states are as transparent with this information,” said Brian Piper, an assistant professor of neuroscience with the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. “So it was a very valuable opportunity.”

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