Connecticut Officials Vote to Expand Medical Marijuana Program

Connecticut may soon be adding two new medical conditions that qualify under the state’s medical-marijuana program.

According to the Associated Press, a board of physicians voted Friday to recommend allowing doctors to prescribe the drug to adults with chronic pain that’s lasted at least six months and is associated with a specified underlying chronic condition. They’re also recommending adding Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of disorders that affect connective tissues and can be painful.

Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull officially accepted the board’s recommendations, which now await additional reviews and ultimately a vote by the General Assembly’s Regulations Review Committee over the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, the physicians did not recommend adding night terrors and parasomnia to the list of eligible conditions.

As noted by the AP, currently, 40,000 patients are enrolled in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program.

Earlier this year House Bill 7371 to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older was passed out of its initial committee in a 10 to 8 vote. The measure would legalize and regulate commercial marijuana cultivation, processing, and sales in the state, while companion measures to tax cannabis and allow for expungements of past convictions are being considered by different committees. Unfortunately, the measure has thus far failed to advance further.

Last year Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection added several new medical marijuana conditions:

  • Spasticity — continuously contracting muscles — or neuropathic pain associated with fibromyalgia
  • Severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • Postherpetic neuralgia — a complication of shingles caused by chickenpox
  • Hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, with intractable headache
  • Intractable headache syndromes
  • Neuropathic facial pain

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