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PTSD Added to Eligible Conditions for State Cannabis Program

PTSD Added to Eligible Conditions for State Cannabis Program

Adding intractable pain to the list last year boosted program enrollment significantly.

Minnesotans that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are now eligible to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program.
 
PTSD was officially added as a “qualifying condition” by the Minnesota Department of Health effective August 1.
 
“The decision was made after careful deliberation of available evidence,” Department of Health commissioner Ed Ehlinger said in a statement back in December. “PTSD … has few effective treatment alternatives available for some patients with the condition.”
 
Other conditions currently covered include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), epilepsy/seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, terminal illness, inflammatory bowel disease, and intractable pain.
 
Minnesota’s medical cannabis program has struggled in its two years of existence, with a limited number of certifying doctors, a tight list of eligible conditions and only a few places to purchase products in the state. Patients are also subjected to high costs and can’t purchase cannabis in its leaf form. TCB documented these struggles in its April 2017 feature story.
 
PTSD could provide a needed boost to shore up the program. Last August, the Department of Health added intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions and saw an immediate surge in registered patients. A report released by the state in July said that intractable pain sufferers make up 69 percent of active patients. About 6,200 people use the program.