A committee tasked with drawing up recommendations for legalizing medical cannabis in Pennsylvania is proposing a program that would ban smokable marijuana and edibles but include several qualifying medical conditions that could lead to big patient numbers.
The proposal means the state could follow in the footsteps of Minnesota and New York, which both also bar smokable MMJ in favor of pills, oils and extracts. Although New York’s MMJ program is not yet up and running, Minnesota’s is off to a rough start, with only about 500 patients having registered so far.
The Pennsylvania committee is proposing 14 qualifying conditions for MMJ cards, including HIV/AIDS, seizures, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, spinal column tissue damage, neuropathies, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma and chronic pain management, according to Pennsylvania Business Daily.
The inclusion of PTSD and chronic pain could create a big market for medical cannabis businesses, given that those are two conditions widely treated with MMJ in other states.
Pennsylvania has been on the radar of a number of marijuana activists who have been expecting the state to legalize MMJ this year or next, but a bill to do so passed the state Senate before being held up in the House.
The panel’s recommendations may be a way to break the political logjam and get medical cannabis approved.