Arizona will add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying ailments under its medical marijuana program, a move that could help boost the market for dispensaries by thousands of patients.
Department of Health Services Director Will Humble issued a “Director’s Decision” this week to allow medical cannabis to be used for PTSD treatment. Sufferers of the disorder can use the plant for “palliative care,” but not as a primary treatment for the disorder.
“Certifying physicians will be required to attest that they have reviewed evidence documenting that the patient is currently undergoing conventional treatment for PTSD before signing the medical marijuana certification,” Humble wrote on the Health Department’s website.
Several thousands new patients – primarily veterans – could join the state’s MMJ program. Roughly 40,000 patients are currently registered.
It also could bring medical marijuana one step closer to being recognized as a treatment for PTSD on a national level. At this time, just nine states allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients with the disorder.
The decision comes just days after the University of Arizona fired a researcher who was studying the impact of medical cannabis on PTSD.
Advocates in Arizona have pushed the legislature to add PTSD to the list of treatable ailments since the state legalized medical marijuana in 2010.