Pennsylvania’s Medical Cannabis Board Rejects Requests to Expand State’s List of Qualifying Conditions
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Pennsylvania’s Medical Cannabis Board Rejects Requests to Expand State’s List of Qualifying Conditions

The Medical Marijuana Advisory Board shot down bids to add traumatic brain injury, Hepatitis, Hepatitis C, chronic insomnia and major depressive disorder.

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August 18, 2021

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board voted Aug. 17 to reject requests to add five new qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The board shot down bids to add traumatic brain injury, Hepatitis, Hepatitis C, chronic insomnia that isn’t responding to other treatments and major depressive disorder that isn’t responding to other treatments, according to The Daily Item.

Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis law currently outlines 23 qualifying conditions, including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anxiety disorders, autism, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The state has nearly 368,000 registered patients, The Daily Item reported, and the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meets on a quarterly basis.

Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said board members expressed concern at Tuesday’s meeting that the requests to add traumatic brain injury, Hepatitis and Hepatitis C to the state’s medical cannabis program were broad and could have allowed patients to qualify in inappropriate cases, according to the news outlet.

The board’s policies bar it from amending the applications to add qualifying conditions, The Daily Item reported. Under the existing policies, the board must either refer proposed new conditions to one of its subcommittees to recommend a change, or it can notify the applicants to re-submit the request with changes.

Regarding the requests to add chronic insomnia and major depressive disorder to the program, the board concluded there is no evidence that medical cannabis would benefit patients with those conditions, according to The Daily Item.