The state of Minnesota is progressively expanding its medicinal cannabis program to include those with irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Wednesday, state health commissioner Jan Malcolm announced that irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder will be eligible for treatment with medicinal cannabis. Per state law, the updated criteria will become effective as of August 1.
Malcolm said that the expansion of the list of diseases that qualify for treatment was done so that individuals with potentially disabling disorders would have access to additional treatment alternatives.
Every summer, citizens may submit petitions to the state Department of Health asking for the addition of new medical conditions that meet the criteria for eligibility.
This year, health officials gave the green light to add irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but turned down requests to add gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying) and opioid addiction because, according to the research, neither condition is effectively treated with cannabis.
On July 1, newly qualified patients will be able to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program, and by August, they will be able to get cannabis from the state’s two manufacturing facilities.
Legislators in Minnesota established the state’s medicinal cannabis program in 2014, and since then, nine other medical illnesses have been added as qualifying conditions. Including OCD and IBS boosts the overall number of qualifying disorders to 19.