Minnesota Adds New Qualifying Conditions to Medical Cannabis Program

Minnesota Adds New Qualifying Conditions to Medical Cannabis Program
High Times

The Minnesota Department of Health announced on Wednesday that the agency will add irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder to the list of qualifying medical conditions for participation in the state’s medical cannabis program. Under state law, the addition of the new qualifying conditions will become effective beginning on August 1, 2023, according to state officials. “We are adding the new qualifying conditions to allow patients more therapy options for conditions that can be debilitating,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a statement from the health department. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, as well as irregular bowel movements that can result in diarrhea, constipation, both diarrhea and constipation, or bloating. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts that often cause significant emotional distress and anxiety in those living with the disorder. This can lead to repetitive actions or other behaviors that those affected by the condition feel compelled to perform to reduce that distress. “Research has shown that people who suffer from these conditions can see benefits from using medical cannabis to treat their symptoms,” the health department wrote.  The new qualifying conditions offer a modest expansion to the state’s medical cannabis program, with an estimated 10% of adults having IBS and 1% meeting the diagnostic criteria for OCD, according to media reports.  Minnesota Patients Support Adding New Conditions In public comments on the petitions to add IBS and obsessive-compulsive disorder to Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, a man identified by the initials RH described himself as a working professional with a wife and two daughters. “My daily life consists of constant fear and stress,” said RH, who noted he has OCD. “Practically the only time I am free of the symptoms is when I am sleeping.” Under state…

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