Minnesota Panel Opposes Adding Pain to MMJ List

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Minnesota’s two medical cannabis producers received a dose of bad news this week.

A state panel tasked with looking into whether or not intractable pain should be added to the qualifying condition list for MMJ has come out against the idea, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The panel voted 5-3 against the proposal – a reversal of previously expressed support for adding pain to the list.

That’s a blow to LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions, the only two firms licensed to produce MMJ in the state, because both have been suffering setbacks due to the extremely low patient count in the state.

To date, only 662 patients have registered to receive medical cannabis, which has led both companies to adjust their business plans. MinnMed in particular has cut a discount program, delayed further dispensary openings and increased its prices.

Adding intractable pain to the conditions list could have ballooned the number of patients, since a vast majority of MMJ recipients in states like Colorado and California use cannabis to treat pain-related ailments.

Both companies, and MMJ patients, still have one last hope: State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger has the final say on whether to expand the list, and the panel’s recommendations are only that – recommendations.

Ehlinger has until the end of the year to decide on the matter.