Hillary H.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed a law expanding the state’s medical marijuana system, a press release issued Monday reports.

The new law expands the list of qualifying conditions for cannabis treatment to include patients with glaucoma, chronic pain, and patients under hospice care. Previously, Vermont‘s medical marijuana program serviced only patients with cachexia or wasting syndrome, cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, seizures, severe pain and severe nausea. The new qualifying conditions take effect immediately.

The new law also mandates the childproof packaging of medical marijuana products and adds labeling requirements for infused edible products.

“At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management,” said Gov. Shumlin. “This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive.”

Earlier this year, the Vermont House killed a Senate-approved legalization bill, which would have made Vermont the first eastern U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis, and the first state to do so via the legislature.

The Vermont legislature legalized medical marijuana in 2003.

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