Illinois Mulling Expansion of Conditions That Qualify For MMJ

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The medical marijuana patient pool in Illinois, which has alarmed some in the state’s cannabis industry because it’s quite small thus far, may be on the verge of expanding.

The state Department of Public Health is considering a petition from potential patients to expand the list of qualifying medical conditions for MMJ, and will hold a public hearing on May 4, according to the Associated Press. After that, a panel of doctors, nurses, patients and a pharmacist will make a formal recommendation to the department.

The advocates behind the petition want to see more than 20 more conditions added to the current list, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, migraines and insomnia.

But it’s unlikely that the panel will recommend approving every condition that patients are asking for, the doctor heading the recommendation board told the AP. Rather, the group will be “cautious and conservative” in their proposal to the state, said Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, who is chairing the advisory board.

For example, the panel won’t take into account what those in the industry want to see happen, Temple said, in part because the board is forbidden from having any financial ties to cannabis companies.

So far, roughly 2,700 potential patients have applied for MMJ cards, according to the state program’s website. About 2,000 have so far been approved.