PURPOSE: The prevalence of medical cannabis (MC) use in patients with cancer is growing, but questions about safety, efficacy, and dosing remain. Conducting randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) using state-sponsored MC programs is novel and could provide data needed to guide patients and providers. METHODS: A pilot RCT of patients with stage IV cancer requiring opioids was conducted. Thirty patients were randomized 1:1 to early cannabis (EC, n = 15) versus delayed start cannabis (DC, n = 15). The EC group obtained 3 months (3 M) of MC through a state program at no charge, while the DC group received standard oncology care without MC for the first 3 M. Patients met with licensed pharmacists at one of two MC dispensaries to determine a suggested MC dosing, formulation, and route. Patients completed surveys on pain levels, opioid/MC use, side effects, and overall satisfaction with the study. RESULTS: Interest in the study was high as 36% of patients who met eligibility criteria ultimately enrolled. The estimated mean daily THC and CBD allotments at 3 M were 34 mg and 17 mg, respectively. A higher proportion of EC patients achieved a reduction in opioid use and improved pain control. No serious safety issues were reported, and patients reported high satisfaction. CONCLUSION: Conducting RCTs using a state cannabis program is feasible. The addition of MC to standard oncology care was well-tolerated and may lead to improved pain control and lower opioid requirements. Conducting larger RCTs with MC in state-sponsored programs may guide oncology providers on how to safely and effectively incorporate MC for interested patients.