Ohio balks at adding anxiety and autism for medical marijuana

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The Ohio medical board dealt a blow to the state’s medical cannabis industry when it rejected petitions seeking to add anxiety and autism spectrum disorders as qualifying conditions.

The board voted down those additions Wednesday after a Medical Board committee last month backpedaled on an earlier recommendation to add the conditions.

The board determined that while marijuana could provide temporary relief for anxiety it also could cause panic attacks and affect children’s brain development.

A frustrated Ohio Medical Cannabis Cultivators Association (OMCCA) said the board’s decision is overly restrictive compared with other markets and is constraining patient access.

“Ohio’s decision not to follow in the footsteps of the 10 states who already allow medical marijuana for anxiety and 22 states that allow it for autism harms patients in need,” Thomas Rosenberger, associate director of the OMCCA, said in an emailed statement.

Earlier this summer, the panel rejected depression, insomnia and opioid addiction as qualifying conditions.

Board spokeswoman Tessie Pollock said the state body could reconsider adding anxiety and autism to the list of 21 qualifying medical conditions if new studies or petitions are submitted.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily