Regulators with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced on Wednesday that cannabis eater It will be available in the state starting next year, giving medical cannabis patients a new alternative to access the drugs of their choice. However, the agency refused to add anxiety disorder as a qualifying requirement for the state’s medical cannabis program.
Under a plan announced by Minnesota Health Commissioner Jean Malcolm, eating cannabis in the form of gum and chewing will be an approved delivery method for the state’s medical cannabis program beginning August 1, 2022.
“Expanding delivery methods to gum and chewing gum will mean more options for patients who cannot tolerate the current available forms of medical cannabis,” said Malcolm. She said On Wednesday in a press release from the agency.
When it launched in 2015, Minnesota’s medical marijuana program was among the strictest in the country, with restrictions on eligible medical conditions and types of approved cannabis products. More qualified terms and approved product types have been added since its inception, with current delivery forms allowed including pills, steam oil, liquids, topicals, powder mixtures, and oral soluble products, such as emulsions. The cannabis flower should be available to patients next year.
The Ministry of Health has indicated that the process of establishing rules governing packaging, labeling, safety messages and food testing for medical cannabis will begin next month.
Regulators approve foods, but refuse to add anxiety as a qualifying condition
The state health department also announced Wednesday that regulators refused to add the concern as a qualifying requirement under the state’s medical cannabis program. Noting that petitioners have requested that anxiety disorder or panic disorder be added as a qualifying condition each year since 2016, the Department of Public Health said it was rejecting the proposal again “due to a lack of scientific evidence to support efficacy as well as concerns expressed by healthcare practitioners.”
“We have received many comments from healthcare practitioners who treat patients with an anxiety disorder, and they have urged us not to approve this as a qualifying medical condition,” Malcolm said. “We recognize that not everyone has equal access to treatment – which is essential – but ultimately we concluded that the risks of additional harm to patients outweigh the perceived benefits.”
Minnesota’s medical cannabis program had nine approved eligibility requirements when it started, a list that has grown to 17 over the past six years. Eligible conditions include glaucoma. HIV/AIDS; Tourette’s syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease. Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy. severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS); Intractable pain post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism spectrum disorder. Sleep Apnea; Alzheimer’s disease; chronic pain; sickle cell disease; Chronic motor or vocal disturbance.
Individuals with cancer or a terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than one year may also qualify if their condition or treatment results in one or more symptoms including severe or chronic pain; severe nausea or vomiting; or severe wasting (cachexia).
Hemp flower will be available next year
The cannabis flower is also on track to be available to medical cannabis patients in Minnesota starting next year. Under the Comprehensive Health and Human Services Act passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz in May, dried cannabis flower must be made available to patients by March 1, 2022.
The change was made at the urging of cannabis advocates, who argued that currently permitted forms of medicinal cannabis were more costly for patients. Opponents asserted that allowing smoking forms of cannabis would lead to the legalization of recreational marijuana, but state Senator Michelle Benson said that was not the intent of the bill.
“It is not our goal to make this a path to legalization,” Benson She said earlier this year. “It’s a goal to make this accessible to people with medical needs who can’t afford it. So, hopefully, we’ve struck the right balance.”