Satish Krishamurthy

Minnesota MMJ Program Opens Up to Patients With Intractable Pain

Patients with intractable pain can begin purchasing medical cannabis in Minnesota today, the Star Tribune reports. The condition was approved by Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger in December.   

The state’s program is restrictive, banning the plant form and opting for pills, oils, and vapor delivery methods. But for the nearly 500 patients suffering from intractable pain who registered with the program in July, the wait is over.

Judy Bjerke Severson, 70, says the pain killers she is prescribed have left her a shell of her former self, and paired with her fibromyalgia and back pain, she has been unable to visit friends, sleep in her own bed, or go grocery shopping. She will be the first to be seen today at a Bloomington medical marijuana clinic to be treated for the pain that has plagued her for more than 20 years.

“I could just cry I’m so excited,” Bjerke Severson said in the report. “I don’t enjoy this life I have right now.”

While this is a win for some patients in the state, advocates from Sensible Minnesota are pushing the health commissioner to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of approved conditions and to allow full-plant access.

Ehlinger added intractable pain to the condition list after a successful (according to the commissioner) roll-out of the program.

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