New conditions, delivery methods for Minnesota medical pot

All take effect in August, 2020

WCCO Radio Newsroom
December 03, 2019 - 6:02 am
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Changes to Minnesota's medicinal marijuana program include two additional qualifying conditions and two more ways to take the medication.

The state health department Monday announced that starting August 2020, people suffering from chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration can take part in the program.

Also, there are now two new ways to ingest cannabis to ease pain and suffering, including water-soluable powders and what they call "orally disolving products," which would include gum, mints and dissolving tablets.

Here is the current list of qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Alzheimer’s

The new conditions come after a formal process that gathered public input and the latest medical research. 

“The bottom line is that people suffering from these serious conditions may be helped by participating in the program, and we felt it was important to give them the opportunity to seek that relief,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

The new delivery forms also take effect next August, the current methods include liquid, pills, vaporizable liquids or oils, and topical applications.

“We hope the addition of new delivery methods will provide a potential alternative to vaping for some patients and that the additional centers will provide more convenient access,” Malcolm said.

Minnesota's medical marijuana law, which took effect in 2015, does not permit smokable or edible forms of medical cannabis.

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