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    Friday, June 21, 2024

    Board votes against adding opioid addiction to medical marijuana conditions

    Opioid addiction won't be added to the list of conditions that qualify people for a medical marijuana card, a panel of doctors decided Monday morning.

    After tabling the decision at a meeting in February so members could seek more information, the Department of Consumer Protection's Board of Physicians decided not to recommend allowing people with opioid use disorders or withdrawal symptoms to be treated with medical marijuana.

    The board meets regularly to consider proposals to add new conditions to the list of 22 diagnoses, including cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and post-traumatic stress disorder, that can qualify applicants for a medical marijuana card.

    Connecticut's medical marijuana regulations — passed in 2012 with 11 approved conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder — have been updated through the regulatory process twice since then, adding six new conditions. Another five were added to the list with a 2016 bill that legalized medical marijuana for children with certain conditions like cystic fibrosis.

    In February, the board of physicians first considered a petition to add opioid use disorders and withdrawal symptoms to the list, which would have made Connecticut the first state to approve them for treatment with medical marijuana.

    At Monday's meeting they recommended adding a new condition to the list of conditions approved for adults: chronic neuropathic pain associated with degenerative spinal disorders.

    The state commissioner of consumer protection reviews the Board of Physicians' recommendations before the legislature's Regulations Review Committee makes a final call on whether the conditions can be added to the medical marijuana program list.

    At the February meeting, the board voted to recommend allowing both adults and children to use medical marijuana to treat osteogenesis, a group of bone disorders, but rejected a proposal to add albinism and nystagmus  — repetitive, uncontrolled eye movements associated with albinism — to the list.

    m.shanahan@theday.com

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