Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, struggling with a lack of patients, will open its doors to pain patients next summer.
Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger announced Wednesday that the state will add intractable pain to the shortlist of conditions that allow Minnesotans to legally use medical marijuana.
“The existing tools are not working well” to manage pain, said Ehlinger, a physician himself. Adding pain patients to the program was the “right and compassionate” choice.
The first pain patients will be able to legally use medical marijuana on Aug 1, 2016, barring any changes from the Legislature.
The medical cannabis program has struggled with high prices and low enrollment since its launch in July. As of Friday, it had 760 enrolled participants and opening enrollment to pain patients could bring in thousands more. [Read more at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune]