Legislation to add autism spectrum disorders to Colorado’s medical cannabis program has been passed through its second reading in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 1263, filed by State Representative Edith Hooton (D), was passed by the House today, less than three weeks after its introduction. It must now be passed through a third reading before it can be sent to the Senate for consideration. If passed by the Senate it will be sent to Governor Jared Polis who is expected to sign it into law if given the opportunity.
According to its official summary, “The bill adds autism spectrum disorders to the list of disabling medical conditions that authorize a person to use medical marijuana for his or her condition.”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced today that the state will be adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as new qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program.
“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” said Commissioner Ehlinger. “However, there is increasing evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with severe autism and obstructive sleep apnea.”
This year, as in years past, the Minnesota Department of Health used a formal petitioning process to solicit public input on potential qualifying conditions. Throughout June and July, Minnesotans were invited to submit petitions to add qualifying conditions. The process included public comments, a citizens’ review panel and a set of research summaries for each condition prepared by Minnesota Department of Health staff. Petitioners put forward a total of 10 conditions for consideration this year, including anxiety disorders, autism, cortico-basal degeneration, dementia, endogenous cannabinoid deficiency syndrome, liver disease, nausea, obstructive sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease and peripheral neuropathy. There were also petitions to add cannabis delivery methods including infused edibles and vaporizing or smoking cannabis flowers. Unfortunately these requests were not approved.