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Pueblo of Santa Ana Member Developing Pain-Relief Skin Patch

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A medical marijuana skin patch—originally developed in the 1990s by Walter Cristobal, a member of the Pueblo of Santa Ana of New Mexico—might be available by the end of this year, reported Culture.

The Washington Times reported on February 22 that Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems LLC (MMDS) announced it had acquired the U.S. Patent rights to the Medical Marijuana Patch, guaranteeing the company exclusive rights for development of the Patch for transcutaneous (meaning medications applied through the skin) delivery of medical marijuana to humans and animals.

Marketed under the trademark TETRACAN, medical marijuana dispensaries countrywide will most likely sell the Patch by year's end.

Cristobal developed the topical solution more than a decade ago, while seeking ways to alleviate his mother’s arthritis pain, reported Culture. While in 2000, Cristobal was awarded a U.S. patent for a marijuana patch, he lacked the means and infrastructure to formulate the product and get it to the market. When business partners Chester Soliz and Jim Alekson caught wind of his patent, they brought Cristobal on board and last year formed MMDS—“a company devoted to the advancement, research and development of marijuana delivery modalities." The company aims to develop other medical marijuana delivery systems like creams, gels and oils aimed at patients seeking chronic pain management, reported Culture.

The Patch essentially helps the body absorb cannabis, and thus relieve pain, in more concentrated and controlled dosages.

"I am excited to be working with MMDS to finally be able to bring the Patch and other new delivery systems like creams, gels and oils to people and animals in need of chronic pain management.," Cristobal said in a statement.

For now, the project is in the works, and the company is trying to channel the perception of the Patch as a pain relief treatment and not a drug. “The industry needs to shed the word ‘marijuana’ and focus on the holistic, therapeutic pain relief benefits,” spokesman Jim Alekson told The Washington Times.