The lawmakers in Connecticut have allowed more medical marijuana qualifying conditions. On Tuesday, the General Assembly Regulations Review Committee added five qualifying conditions for adults. Two of the five conditions are intractable neuropathic pain and Tourette syndrome. Patients under the age of 18 with the two ailments were are also approved to use medical marijuana.
In a written statement, Michelle H. Seagull, the Consumer Protection Commissioner, thanked the members of the Regulations Review Committee and the Board of Physicians for the addition of the qualifying conditions. She further said that it is good to know that medical marijuana will be available to more patients who are suffering from debilitating diseases. Seagull is also looking forward to working on the program.
The regulations will be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office to be finalized, and then posted online.
In addition to the two approved conditions, the General Assembly Regulations Review Committee also approved interstitial cystitis, median arcuate ligament syndrome and vulvodynia, and vulva burning. Chronic pain was approved by the Medical Marijuana Program Board as a qualifying condition last month; however, the Regulations Review Committee did not vote for it on Tuesday.
In Connecticut, 37,080 patients are participating in the medical marijuana program. Currently, there 36 qualifying conditions for adult patients and ten qualifying conditions for patients under the age of 18.
There are 15 medical marijuana dispensaries and four producers licensed to operate within the state. Three more dispensaries are in the process of being opened after they were issued with licenses.
The medical marijuana program was launched in 2012. At that time, there were only 11 qualifying conditions. These included cancer, glaucoma, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The program has expanded over the years to include other conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and other terminal illnesses that require end of life care.
The legislators approved Medical marijuana for minors in 2016, and their qualifying conditions included severe epilepsy and uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder.
The state approval process is still ongoing for the additional qualifying conditions so it is expected that as more information becomes available regarding other conditions which can be managed using medical marijuana, the responsible body will receive testimony on the same and add those conditions without having to involve the lawmakers.
This approach of modifying the list of qualifying conditions without the seeking approval from lawmakers I a good one because it saves a lot of time and sidesteps partisan politics which can at times derail otherwise good programs.
One is led to imagine that marijuana companies like The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) must be glad that the pool of patients who can benefit from medical marijuana in Connecticut has been widened.
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