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Autism, PTSD Top List of Conditions Being Considered for Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Program

The Minnesota Department of Health is currently considering adding several qualifying conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program including autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The Department has held two meetings to consider conditions thus far, with a third meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 22.”

Under Minnesota’s medical marijuana law, which was passed in 2014 and went into effect last year, patients can petition the Department every year to request additional conditions be considered. Petitions are accepted during a two month window each year, starting June 1 and ending July 31. A seven-member review panel then holds public meetings for each condition being considered and accepts public comments via email. Final decisions can take several months.

Last year, intractable pain was added to the list of qualifying conditions, which also includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig’s disease), seizures (including epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis), inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease), and any terminal illness where a patient has a probable life expectancy of less than one year.

mmj symbolSeveral new conditions were submitted during the petition period this year, and are under consideration by the Department of Health’s seven-member review panel. Those conditions are phantom limb pain (PLP), a condition where patients experience pain in a part of the body that no longer exists due to amputation, or that never existed; arthritis, a painful inflammatory joint disorder; autism, a neurodevelopment disorder that leads to varying degrees of difficulty in social interaction and developing verbal and nonverbal communication, and can cause repetitive behaviors; depression; diabetes; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a painful connective tissue disorder; insomnia; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder often caused or triggered by extreme emotional trauma; and schizophrenia, a long-term mental disorder which involves a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

The Department has held two meetings to consider conditions thus far, with a third meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 22. Limited public comments may be heard during the meetings, and additional input from the public can be submitted by email.

Minnesota residents who wish to submit public comment on any of the ailments being considered can do so via email. Public comments can be sent to the following email address:

Comments must be received by Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

More information about Minnesota’s medical marijuana program is available from the state Department of Health’s website.