List of Qualified Conditions for Medical Marijuana Use in Minnesota Grows

August 01, 2018 05:43 PM

Minnesota residents with autism or obstructive sleep apnea can now qualify for the state's medical marijuana program.

Those additions are effective Wednesday, marking the latest expansion of the program that launched in 2015. Minnesota lawmakers passed one of the nation's most restrictive medical marijuana laws in 2014, banning the plant form and restricting its use to patients with just a handful of serious conditions.

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RELATED: Study says Medical Marijuana has Measurably Reduced Serious Pain among Minnesota Patients

Patients with intractable pain were added to the fold in 2016. The state allowed residents suffering post-traumatic stress disorder to buy the medication starting last summer.

Minnesota Medical Solutions, a company that distributes medical marijuana says about 100 people in the state are approved to use medical marijuana for autism and that number is expected to grow.

RELATED: Inside Your Health: Medical Marijuana for Sleep Apnea Patients

"Last year for example when PTSD was approved initially the adoption was pretty slow and now that's the second largest group of certified patients in the state," Joseph Westwater, MD, medical director at Minnesota Medical Solutions said. 

Advocacy groups had sought to add even more conditions to the program, including nausea, dementia and anxiety disorders.


IN-DEPTH

  • Eleven states and Washington, D.C., allow medical marijuana for people with autism.
  • Autism is a qualifying condition in Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania for adults and kids.
  • Autism is a qualifying condition in Delaware for adults with "autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior."
  • People with autism in California, Oregon, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Florida and Washington, D.C., can get medical marijuana even though it is not a qualifying condition. Doctors can prescribe it to people with autism at their discretion since medical marijuana is legal for those with a "debilitating medical condition."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credits

Joe Mazan

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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