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May 16, 2018, Pennsylvania
This Monday, the Department of Health in Pennsylvania has endorsed various decisive changes in the state’s MMJ program.
Opioid has Been Added to the list of Qualifying Conditions
Pennsylvania is the second state after New Jersey that had added opioid addiction to the list of medical conditions that can be treated with the administration of medical cannabis. However, the health secretary of the state has made it clear that MMJ will not be the principal treatment for dealing with opioid addiction.
Patients will only be eligible to get MMJ descriptions after the failure of other treatments. Moreover, doctors can prescribe the administration of medical cannabis in conjunction with conventional treatment procedures.
It is important to note that Pennsylvania is one of those states that has been greatly affected by opioid use disorder. According to the statistics of the last year, more than 1200 people died due to opioid overdose in the largest city of the state. Traditional treatments often prove to be ineffective against opioid abuse. Therefore, the state is moving forward with this decision to declare medical marijuana as a legal medical treatment for opioid addiction.
The Department of Health has Approved Marijuana Research
The Department of Health has also issued research licenses to five medical schools that want to study the therapeutic benefits of cannabis plants. The research will also cover the role of marijuana in the treatment of substance abuse.
The State’s Governor, Tom Wolf, boasts about the research arm of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. He is of the thought that the state’s MMJ program is distinctive because it greatly emphasizes on the research. Wolf has also criticized the federal government for their needless austerity on medical marijuana, which also hinders the research work. He is hopeful that medical schools in the state will set the template for MMJ treatments for the entire country.
Marijuana Flowers Will be Available at MMJ Dispensaries
Pennsylvania’s MMJ program started just with the sale of cannabis oils with low THC content, while all other forms of MMJ remained illegal. MMJ advocates were constantly striving to add cannabis flowers to the list of items that should be available at MMJ dispensaries. The reason being cannabis oils are an expensive product and might not be reasonably priced for every MMJ patient.
The state regulators have finally acted upon the wish of MMJ advocates and approved the sale of cannabis flowers. Patients can use cannabis flowers in vaporized form, smoking them will continue to be illegal.
Chris Visco is the owner of an MMJ dispensary chain in Pennsylvania. He supported the idea of making cannabis flowers legal to make MMJ treatments affordable. He thinks that expenses of MMJ treatments can be reduced by 50 percent by allowing the sales of cannabis flowers.
The department has also changed the conditions of MMJ prescription for chronic pain. Patients will no longer have to prove opioid administration before obtaining MMJ recommendations. All these improvements in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program will be implemented from this Thursday.