Minnesota patients with post-traumatic stress disorder can now request certification to obtain medical cannabis under the state’s program and, if approved, begin receiving it August 1st. One year ago, the state Health Department added intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions, and Tom Arneson with the Office of Medical Cannabis says, “It really picked up the pace of enrollment, to the point where now about two-thirds or 70 percent of patients enrolled in the program are certified for intractable pain.” Arneson predicts the number of patients with P-T-S-D enrolled in the medical cannabis program will be much fewer than those with intractable pain. But he notes some of those already participating due to intractable pain also reported medical cannabis improved their P-T-S-D symptoms. Those seeking access to medical cannabis must first have approval of their doctor.
Minnesota’s commissioner of health determines which medical conditions are added to the list, but the legislature has the option of overriding any decision. Office of Medical Cannabis Director Michelle Larson says,”There are lawmakers that are vehemently opposed to the commissioner’s authority to be able to add new conditions, and I think there’s lawmakers who do work with their constituents where they do support this process.” Larson expects there will be petitions requesting new conditions be added to the list, but says she can’t comment on what the health commissioner would approve or not approve. She adds it’s difficult to predict what the legislature’s stance might be.
More in this interview with Arneson and Larson: