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Minnesota OKs Medical Marijuana to Treat Alzheimer’s

Minnesota Alzheimer’s disease patients will be eligible to use medical marijuana in their treatment starting next August.

State Health Department officials Monday they’ve added Alzheimer’s as qualifying condition to receive medical cannabis. The decision, part of the department’s regular process to review requests for treatment, means patients suffering from the crippling neurological disorder can enroll starting in July with their doctor’s approval.

“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “However, there is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”

The 2014 Minnesota Legislature authorized the creation of a medical cannabis program and included nine conditions that would qualify a person to receive medical cannabis. State rules allow the health commissioner each year to add other qualifying conditions and delivery methods.

Health Department staff reviewed petitions over the summer for requests to add qualifying diseases to the cannabis program, including Alzeheimer’s, which Malcolm approved. [Read more at Minnesota Public Radio]

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