Minnesota Considers Adding New MMJ Condition

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Minnesota’s health commissioner is considering whether to add intractable pain to the state’s list of conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana.

That should be greeted as good news by cannabis entrepreneurs in Minnesota, where medical marijuana patient numbers have fallen dramatically short of expectations. The addition of intractable pain could open the door for tens of thousands of patients – possibly even more – to participate in the program.

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger has until January 1, 2016 to decide whether intractable pain should be included among qualified conditions, while the public comment period on the issue closes Oct. 25, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Hundreds of Minnesotans have posted comments on the state’s health department website supporting the inclusion of intractable pain, and others have voiced their opinions in public hearings.

State health officials initially predicted the medical cannabis program eventually would have about 5,000 patients, but as of last Friday only 618 patients and 40 caregivers were enrolled.

There are now nine qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette Syndrome, and Crohn’s Disease.

Minnesota’s first cannabis clinic opened in July, but low demand has created some challenges for the state’s two licensed MMJ businesses.