The Minnesota medical cannabis program was passed in 2014; just 2 years ago. It is among the strictest programs in the country, allowing only a limited amount of conditions to qualify a person for medical marijuana treatment. Minnesota medical cannabis is only available in a liquid, pill, topical, or vaporized delivery method that doesn’t require the use of dried leaves or plant form. The program started with just 8 qualifying conditions but part of the program’s structure allows the public to petition for new conditions to be added to the list, as well as new delivery methods.
“The Strongest Case for Potential Benefits”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced today that the Minnesota Department of Health has decided to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions for the state. He released a statement saying, “This decision was made after careful deliberation of available evidence, consultation with experts in the field and public input. While the process of reviewing these potential additions was difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence, PTSD presented the strongest case for potential benefits. PTSD also has few effective treatment alternatives available for some patients with the condition.”
Ointments Added to Delivery Options
Minnesota petitioners asked for 9 conditions to be reviewed by the department including PTSD, schizophrenia, acquired absence of limb (phantom limb syndrome), arthritis, autism, depression, diabetes, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and insomnia. So far PTSD is the only condition to pass. Petitioners also asked for an added delivery method to be included in the program and the department also announced their approval of this. The department is now allowing manufacturers to make patches, lotions, creams, gels and ointments as they now believe these delivery methods to be a safe, low risk way of administering medical marijuana.
The Advancement of Minnesota Medical Cannabis
The slow and steady advancements of the Minnesota medical cannabis program shows the Minnesota Department of Health’s willingness to listen to residents regarding their needs. Last year, intractable pain was added to the list of qualifying conditions. As of now, the complete list of conditions includes cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms (including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis), inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease), terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than 1 year (if the illness or treatment produces severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting), cachexia or severe wasting, intractable pain and now PTSD.
The change will not come into effect until August 1, 2017. Patients suffering with the disorder will have to wait a little longer before treatment becomes available but a solution is in sight now. 2016 has seen many advancements across the country in cannabis policy and the end of prohibition. Many southern states decided to decriminalize the plant this year while 4 states approved medical cannabis programs and another 4 states, including California, legalized recreational marijuana. Now Minnesota patients suffering with the debilitating effects of PTSD will be able to get treatment soon.