Pennsylvania has officially added four new medical conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, including becoming the first state in the nation to allow medical marijuana for opioid-use disorder.
“We have expanded the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine in a recent press release. Pennsylvania is the first state to add opioid-use disorder separately as an approved condition for medical marijuana patients.
“By adding opioid-use disorder as an approved medical condition under the program, we not only give physicians another tool for treatment of this devastating disease, but we allow for research to be conducted on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treatment,” Dr. Levine said. “Only approved conditions under the law can be studied through our research program.”
Other changes include:
- Revising the serious chronic pain definition to no longer require patients to use opioids before using medical marijuana;
- Permitting medical marijuana to be dispensed in dry leaf or plant form, for administration by vaporization;
- Allowing physicians to opt out of the public-facing practitioner list while remaining in the Patient and Caregiver Registry; and
- Requiring patients to pay the $50 medical marijuana identification card fee once in a 12-month period.
Below is the full list of Pennsylvania’s qualifying medical cannabis conditions:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
- Crohn’s Disease.
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
- Huntington’s Disease.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
- Intractable Seizures.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
- Neurodegenerative diseases.
- Opioid-Use Disorder.
- Parkinson’s Disease.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.
- Sickle Cell Anemia.
- Spastic Movement Disorders.
- Terminal Illness.