The state of Michigan on Monday added 11 medical conditions, including autism, chronic pain, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome, to the list of ailments that could qualify a person for a medical cannabis card.
The list, approved by Shelly Edgerton, director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, now features 22 ailments that will allow a doctor to recommend a medical cannabis card for a patient. A doctor must approve a person for a card. The state charges a patient $60 for a medical cannabis card.
But she also rejected requests for 11 other medical conditions, including anxiety, asthma, depression, schizophrenia and panic attacks.
“With the changes in state law to include marijuana-infused products and the advancement of marijuana research, and upon the recommendation of the panel members, I’ve added these eleven conditions to the approved list,” Edgerton said in a statement released Monday.
Her decision came after the Medical Marijuana Review Panel, which includes several physicians, heard testimony in April from people who wanted the ailments included, and then made recommendations to the state on what medical conditions should and shouldn't be included on the list.
Included in the list of approved medical conditions: arthritis, autism, chronic pain, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, Parkinson's, Rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, Tourette's syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
Scott Badesch, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America, said his organization hasn't taken a stand on the use of marijuana to treat people with autism.
"Any person who uses it should consult with their own doctors and we know there should be further study on it," he said. "But I have yet to hear from a parent who has said that it hasn’t been helpful for their children with autism to treat things like seizure reduction, anxiety and depression."
University of California at San Diego's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research will embark on a $4.7 million study next year to look at the effects of cannabis use to treat autism.
The center will examine whether cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive element of the cannabis plant, is effective at treating severe forms of autism.
"One of our questions is if the effects are temporary of if you stop taking it, do the seizures come back," Badesch said. "Is this something that you have to take for the rest of your life?"
The ailments will be added to the existing list, which includes: post traumatic stress disorder, cancer, glaucoma, HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and nail patella, as well as a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures including epilepsy, and severe muscle spasms including from multiple sclerosis
Conditions that were denied by Edgerton: anxiety, asthma, brain injury, depression, diabetes, gastric ulcer, non-severe and non-chronic pain, organ transplant, panic attacks, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder.
In Michigan, there are 289,205 medical cannabis card holders.
Learn more about Michigan's Medical Cannabis Program Here: https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79575---,00.html