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Minnesota: Patients With Intractable Pain Eligible For Medical Cannabis

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Minnesota: Patients With Intractable Pain Eligible For Medical Cannabis

St. Paul, MN: State health officials have announced plans to expand the state's medical marijuana program to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those with intractable pain.

Under the 2014-enacted law, which took effect this summer, physicians may only recommend non-smoked preparations of cannabinoids to patients with one of nine state-qualified health conditions, such as cancer, HIV, or persistent muscle spasms. The forthcoming regulatory change will permit patients with intractable pain to become eligible for cannabis treatment on August 1, 2016.

State law defines intractable pain as a health condition "in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts."

A systematic review of clinical trial data published in June in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology reports that cannabinoids are "safe," "well-tolerated," and "provide a reasonable treatment option" for patients with chronic pain.

For more information, please contact Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.