The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will add Alzheimer’s disease as a new qualifying condition for the state’s medical cannabis program. Under state law, the new condition will take effect in August 2019.
“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” says Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm, in a release. “However, there is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep, and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”
As in years past, MDH used a formal petitioning process to solicit public input on potential qualifying conditions. Throughout June and July, Minnesotans submitted petitions to add qualifying conditions. Following this petition period, the process included public comments and a citizens’ review panel. MDH staff also prepared a set of documents summarizing the available research pertaining to the use of medical cannabis for each prospective condition.
Petitioners put forward seven conditions this year: Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, opioid use disorder, panic disorder, psoriasis and traumatic brain injury. After reviewing the research summaries and other