AZ Judge: State Should Consider Parkinson’s Patients for MMJ

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Arizona’s medical marijuana market – already one of the largest in the country – could get even bigger after a judge ruled the state improperly rejected a hearing into whether patients with Parkinson’s Disease should be added to the qualifying list of conditions for MMJ.

According to the Phoenix New Times, Dorinda Lang, an administrative law judge, ruled last month the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the MMJ program, has held would-be MMJ patients to a higher standard than required by law.

The judge wrote the department should have held a hearing because the law merely stipulates that any evidence be submitted that cannabis can help a patient – versus relying solely on “sufficient evidence of acceptable scientific quality,” the reason given for denying the hearing.

The department has around a month to review the judge’s decision and decide whether to hold a hearing – or simply add Parkinson’s to the list of qualifying conditions.

The ruling could open the door for additional hearings by the state to expand the qualifying conditions list.

Last year, the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association petitioned the department eight times suggesting the addition of qualifying conditions. The department rejected the requests. Possible additions include Huntington’s Disease, autism, and traumatic brain injury.