Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program Adding Two New Qualifying Medical Conditions
Relief will be on the way for more Minnesotans in 2023 as the the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced they will be adding two additional qualifying medical conditions to Minnesota's medical cannabis program.
The Minnesota Department of Health notes that under state rules, patients certified for the new qualifying medical conditions will become eligible to enroll in the state’s medical cannabis program on July 1, 2023, and receive medical cannabis from either of the state’s two medical cannabis manufacturers starting August 1, 2023. Also, as with other qualifying conditions, patients will need advance certification from a participating Minnesota health care provider.
The two new qualifying medical conditions being added are irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“We are adding the new qualifying conditions to allow patients more therapy options for conditions that can be debilitating,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.
For reference, the Minnesota Department of Health provided descriptions of each new qualifying condition:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, and irregular bowel movements that can result in diarrhea, constipation, both diarrhea and constipation, or bloating.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts that often cause significant emotional distress and anxiety. This can lead to behaviors that the affected person feels compelled to perform to reduce that distress. Research has shown that people who suffer from these conditions can see benefits from using medical cannabis to treat their symptoms.
These additions were made after MDH conducted a formal petition process to solicit public input on potential qualifying medical conditions and delivery methods for medical cannabis. Minnesotans were asked to submit petitions in June and July and then there was a public comment period, followed by a review panel.
With these additions, the list of qualifying conditions for the Minnesota medical cannabis program has grown to 19:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Autism spectrum disorder (must meet DSM-5)
- Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Intractable pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome (effective Aug. 1, 2023)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (effective Aug. 1, 2023)
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Sickle cell disease
- Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year*
- Tourette syndrome
Under state rules, Minnesota's commissioner of health considers whether to add qualifying conditions and delivery methods each year.