On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health rejected all of the medical marijuana proposals submitted by cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries. The board voted 4-2 to reject the proposals, and all the companies that want to sell medical cannabis in Illinois have the option to appeal the decision..
The California Division of Medical Cannabis Regulation (DMCR) has approved the bid and the licensing process is now underway. The DMCR is the state agency responsible for all aspects of the medical marijuana program in California, including the licensing of physicians, the issuance of medical marijuana identification cards, the regulation of dispensary and cultivation operations, and the identification of safety and security standards to protect the public.
The state Medicinal Marijuana Advisory Board rejected five petitions to add to the list of illnesses that qualify individuals for medical marijuana on Tuesday, despite the fact that board members recognized that patients with the conditions may benefit from medical cannabis in some instances.
Bids to allow medical marijuana to be used to treat traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, Hepatitis C, chronic insomnia that hasn’t responded to other therapies, and major depressive disorder that hasn’t responded to other treatments were all denied by the board.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anxiety disorder, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, opioid use disorder, and chronic pain are among the 23 severe medical illnesses that Pennsylvania’s 367,925 current medical marijuana users have been diagnosed with.
Board members were worried that the applications for traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, and Hepatitis C were too wide, allowing individuals to qualify for medical marijuana cards in situations when it was not suitable, according to Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. The board was worried that if a child had an acute traumatic brain injury, they could be eligible for medicinal marijuana. Medicinal marijuana may help patients with chronic hepatitis and chronic Hepatitis C, according to Johnson, but board members believe it would be improper to authorize medical marijuana for individuals who have had acute hepatitis.
The board’s attempt to modify the applications was thwarted by the board’s own rules.
According to Carol Mowery, assistant legal counsel for the Department of Health, board members do not have the option of amending an application submitted to them – the board must either refer the proposed new condition to one of its subcommittees for recommendation, or the board can notify the applicants to resubmit the request with the changes sought by the board.
Dr. William Goldfarb, a member of the advisory board, stated, “It seems like a complicated method to go ahead.”
Another advisory board member, Molly Robertson, described the situation as “crazy” since it delayed the board’s approval despite the fact that board members seemed to agree that medicinal marijuana should be permitted for individuals with chronic hepatitis and chronic Hepatitis C.
“I’m not sure why we had them wait to add one word to the application,” she said. “At the end of the day, patients are waiting.”
Because the board only meets once a quarter, it won’t be able to vote on the change until November.
Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said the department and advisory board would look at whether or not the board’s authorized procedure may be modified to allow for more rapid modification of qualifying condition applications.
The board’s decision to reject chronic insomnia and major depressive disorder was less contentious when Johnson said that the board’s research found no evidence that medicinal marijuana would help individuals suffering from those illnesses.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- conditions to qualify for medical marijuana
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- list of debilitating medical conditions