Medical Marijuana

Minn. patients and health providers: Help expand the medical cannabis program​

Submit a letter of support if you could benefit from allowing oral uptake delivery or from adding chronic pain or TBI to the program.

Minnesota's medical cannabis law started as one of the most restrictive in the nation. Thanks to the hard work of our allies at Sensible Minnesota and the voices of patients and providers, it has steadily been expanded via the Department of Health petition process. Intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and other conditions have been added administratively to include tens of thousands more patients.

Sensible Minnesota is now focused on expanding conditions to include chronic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to allow oral uptake delivery. If you are a patient, caregiver, family member, healthcare provider, or someone else who could benefit from the addition of these conditions or delivery method, please consider providing a letter of support by the end of the day on Friday, July 26.

The National Academy of Sciences found there is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis relieves chronic pain. Adding "chronic pain" would allow thousands more patients to qualify who do not fall under the restrictive definition of intractable pain.

Oral uptake delivery — which can be done with gums, lozenges, or mints — permits patients to absorb cannabinoids through the mucosal lining of the mouth. This means the patient doesn't need to swallow the product, which can take far longer to get into the bloodstream to provide relief.

If you are a pain or TBI patient who has already received benefit from medical cannabis, please consider providing a letter to share your story.

You can submit your letter of support using Sensible Minnesota's online form or via email to petitions@sensible.mn. If you have questions or would like more information, please reach out to petitions@sensible.mn.

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Prohibition

Texas Legislature has adjourned – more work to be done!

Earlier this week, the Texas Legislature adjourned after its 140-day legislative session. This year's session brought successes and setbacks. Prohibitionists went to great lengths to keep the status quo and some of their reefer madness unfortunately worked.

What Passed:

Industrial Hemp Legalization – HB 1325 legalizes industrial hemp in Texas and establishes a regulatory structure so that Texans may soon start growing hemp.

Limited Low-THC Medical Cannabis Expansion – HB 3703 removes the two-physician requirement for a medical marijuana card and expands the qualifying conditions to include: epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, ALS, autism, terminal cancer, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases. It does not change the 0.5% THC cap. HB 3703 is currently on Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

What Fell Short:

Marijuana Decriminalization – HB 63, which would have replaced possible jail time with a fine, passed in the Texas House but stalled in the Texas Senate after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made it his mission to kill the bill.

Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Expansion – HB 1365 would have expanded qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, increased the number of dispensaries, and established a research review board that could allow different amounts of cannabinoids. This bill passed in the Texas House but did not receive a hearing in the Senate.

Unfortunately, the Texas Legislature won't be back in session until 2021. That means two more years of patients suffering and needless arrests. We want to congratulate everyone who worked so hard to make progress, including Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.

Support for marijuana reform is at an all-time high so let's keep our chins up and keep pushing. Together, we can change marijuana laws in Texas.

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Medical Marijuana

Alabama Senate approves medical marijuana bill

If you live in Alabams, contact your House representative today!

Last week, the Alabama Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. SB 236 would allow qualifying patients 19 and older to possess and purchase medical marijuana from authorized dispensaries.

Several conditions would qualify for medical marijuana treatment, including PTSD, chronic pain, cancer, autism, and epilepsy.

The bill will likely move to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. Please contact your representative in the House in support of medical marijuana in Alabama today. Then, get the word out by forwarding this email to friends and family or by sharing the action link on social media.

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Medical Marijuana

Alabama Senate committee passes medical marijuana bill

If you live in Alabama, contact your lawmakers in support of medical marijuana.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 236 in a 6-2 vote. The bill would establish a medical marijuana program in Alabama and would allow patients 19 years or older to use medical marijuana to treat 33 different conditions, including autism, chronic pain, and anxiety.

Contact your lawmakers in support of SB 236 today. Medical marijuana won’t pass in Alabama without robust grassroots outreach, so please email them now.

Last week, the same committee approved a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

Please contact your public officials today and then help get the word out by forwarding this email to friends and family. Together we can bring sensible marijuana laws to the South.

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Medical Marijuana

Minn.: Alzheimer’s approved for medical cannabis, other conditions rejected

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Health approved adding Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, but rejected opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, traumatic brain injury, and insomnia.

Many thanks to Sensible Minnesota and to all the advocates and health professionals who were involved in petitioning to expand the program! Their dedicated work (with an assist from MPP) also resulted in the addition of intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and sleep apnea.

Under state law, Alzheimer’s disease patients will be able to apply for medical cannabis starting next summer.

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Medical Marijuana

Iowa: Medical marijuana regulators vote to keep the THC cap, add autism

Urge your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 2, the board that oversees Iowa’s medical marijuana program voted unanimously against recommending legislators to remove the current 3% THC limit on products.

Additionally, the board voted to recommend that the state add autism to the list of qualifying conditions, but rejected expanding the program to add ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and ganglioglioma.

Unfortunately, Iowa’s low-THC approach leaves behind thousands of patients who could benefit from medical marijuana.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

Check out our full summary of Iowa’ low-THC program here. Five dispensaries across the state will be open to registered patients on December 1. You can also find a wealth of information on medical marijuana here.

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Medical Marijuana

Minnesota patients with autism and sleep apnea now qualify for medical cannabis

Last November, the Minnesota Department of Health approved adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program. Under state law, the additions take effect the following summer.

Starting on July 1, 2018, patients with a doctor’s certification and either of those conditions could begin registering for the program. They can start accessing medical cannabis no sooner than August 1. Our allies at Sensible Minnesota offer one-on-one assistance to patients who need help navigating the process. Learn more here.

Congratulations to Sensible Minnesota and to all the advocates and health professionals who were involved in petitioning to expand the program!

Sensible Minnesota is now working on petitions to expand the program to include opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and insomnia.

If you are a Minnesota medical professional who might be willing to add your voice to the petition, contact Sensible Minnesota at 952-529-4420 or by email.

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Medical Marijuana

Louisiana governor signs medical marijuana bills into law

Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed HB 579 and HB 627, which expand the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana! These two bills add a variety of new conditions including autism, PTSD, and intractable pain.

This is a great step towards Louisiana having a functional medical marijuana program. Next session, we are hopeful the legislature will allow the vaporization of medical marijuana so that patients can finally have real access to the medicine they need.

Congratulations to Sensible Marijuana Policy for Louisiana and all the activists that showed up to the statehouse and contacted their lawmakers in support of these reforms!

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Medical Marijuana

PTSD Patients Can Now Access Medical Marijuana in Minnesota

Last year, MPP helped local advocates at Sensible Minnesota with their successful petition to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the state’s medical cannabis program. Patients suffering from this condition were able to enroll in the program last month, and starting August 1 they will be allowed to access medical cannabis.

Every year, the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis accepts petitions to add new conditions, and this year was no exception. This year’s petitions were due this week, and MPP and Sensible Minnesota again submitted paperwork — including for nausea, Alzheimer’s, and autism. Thanks to everyone who shared their story with us to help build the case. Before deciding whether to add the condition, a review panel will hold a public hearing.

While Minnesota has a comprehensive medical marijuana program, it remains one of the most limited — and costly — in the country. One of the most significant remaining flaws is that patients are not permitted to consume whole plant (flower) cannabis.

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Medical Marijuana

Texas Special Legislative Session Begins, Med. Marijuana Bill Introduced

Texas legislators are back in Austin for another round of policy considerations, and Rep. Eddie Lucio III has introduced HB 85, a medical cannabis improvement bill. This proposal would allow some patients to access whole plant cannabis, including those with terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis, autism, or Parkinson’s Disease.

This bill is more restrictive than the bill introduced during the regular session, but it would still be a major step forward for many seriously ill patients. Currently, the Compassionate Use Program only allows those with intractable epilepsy access to low-THC cannabis. Texas cannabis businesses are expected to be operational by the end of the year.

This will be a very politically charged special session, established to address a specific list of issues that Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas conservatives consider priorities.

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