Pennsylvania May Expand List of Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania may soon expand its list of serious medical conditions that qualify a patient to use cannabis medicinally, according to a spokesman from the state Department of Health. The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board approved a process for amending the list of qualifying conditions at a meeting last month, spokesman Nate Wardell told reporters.

Within weeks, the board will begin accepting research-based petitions to add additional conditions to the list, which currently includes cancer, chronic pain, terminal illness, and 18 others. The board has tentative plans to discuss and vote on the initial round of applications at its next meeting on February 1.

Dr. Roxanne Rick treats chronic pain and addiction with cannabis as an alternative to opioids. She said that people in the state have already been self-medicating for other medical issues with cannabis.

“Pennsylvanians have been using marijuana illicitly for years to treat a wide variety of conditions not on the state list,” Rick said.

More Patients Could Benefit from Cannabis

Dr. Elizabeth Spaar treats patients with autism, addiction, and autoimmune diseases. She said her practice consults with patients she believes are good candidates for cannabis therapies but don’t qualify under current regulations.

“We definitely do get people calling us who

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