The Minnesota Department of Health has expanded its medical cannabis program by including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as qualifying conditions. Starting from August 1, patients diagnosed with these conditions will have access to medical cannabis from authorized dispensaries.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Dr. Brooke Cunningham, emphasized the importance of offering additional therapeutic options, stating, “As we continue to learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis, it’s important that we add this therapy option as a potential treatment to relieve conditions that can be debilitating.”
The decision to add IBS and OCD to the qualifying conditions list came after a thorough petition and public comment process conducted by the department. With these additions, Minnesota now recognizes a total of 19 medical conditions for its medical cannabis program.
To participate in the state’s medical cannabis program, individuals must receive certification from a participating healthcare practitioner for at least one qualifying medical condition.
In a significant development, Governor Tim Walz signed legislation in May to legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. Starting from August 1, adults aged 21 and older will be permitted to possess cannabis for personal use and cultivate their own plants. The new law also establishes the Office of Cannabis Management, responsible for overseeing the licensing of medical and adult-use cannabis operators, setting industry regulations, and regulating hemp-derived consumer products.
With the inclusion of IBS and OCD in the medical cannabis program and the upcoming legalization of adult-use cannabis, Minnesota is taking progressive steps towards providing patients with alternative treatment options and embracing the potential benefits of cannabis for therapeutic use.