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In a big win for Minnesotans seeking medicinal cannabis treatments, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health has announced that he will add “intractable pain” to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

Patients suffering from intractable pain will be allowed to obtain medical cannabis from LeafLien Labs or Minnesota Medical Solutions, the state’s sole medical marijuana providers, beginning in August of 2016.

Health commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger stated:

“The relative scarcity of firm evidence made this a difficult decision. However, given the strong medical focus of Minnesota’s medical cannabis program and the compelling testimony of hundreds of Minnesotans, it became clear that the right and compassionate choice was to add intractable pain to the program’s list of qualifying conditions. This gives new options for clinicians and new hope for suffering patients.”

The law defines intractable pain as a condition “in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts.”

Dr. Kyle Kingsley of Minnesota Medical Solutions stated that “this decision is great news for patients suffering from intractable pain. We already have 10 medicines geared toward pain, so we are well prepared to serve these patients. Now patients can ease their pain with an alternative that poses far fewer dangerous side effects than opioids and other highly addictive and dangerous prescription pain medicines.”

 

Photo Credit: Pete Markham

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