Minnesota Adds Pain to Medical Cannabis Conditions List

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Minnesota’s health commissioner announced Wednesday that he will add intractable pain to the state’s qualifying condition list for medical cannabis, which will breathe new life into the state’s MMJ industry.

His game-changing decision overrules a previous panel recommendation to keep pain off the list.

“In the end I determined that with Minnesota’s cautious and well-designed program, we can safely and responsibly give patients and providers the option of adding medical cannabis as a tool to treat intractable pain,” Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said in a statement.

The change will mean an almost certain boost for the state’s two MMJ providers – LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions – which have both struggled under the state’s strict program, in large part because of a lack of patients.

As of last Friday, only 760 patients had registered to receive cannabis, and the tiny customer base has led to delays in dispensary openings and at least one price hike so far.

Ehlinger’s decision comes nearly a month after a state panel had come out against adding pain to the relatively short list of conditions, based on a lack of scientific evidence that cannabis helps alleviate pain.

But Ehlinger said he was swayed by hundreds of Minnesotans who turned out to testify at public hearings in favor of the move.