Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis program begins accepting certified IBS, OCD patients

(ABC 6 News) – As of July 1, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officially added irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to the list of qualifying medical conditions for participation in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program.

Minnesota patients certified with either IBS or OCD can now enroll in the state’s medical cannabis program. Patients certified by a participating health care practitioner as having either of these conditions can buy medical cannabis at a medical cannabis dispensary starting Aug. 1.

“As we continue to learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis, it’s important that we add this therapy option as a potential treatment to relieve conditions that can be debilitating,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham.

Last November, MDH announced plans to add IBS and OCD to the state medical cannabis program’s list of qualifying medical conditions. The two new conditions were approved last year during MDH’s annual petition and public comment process.

RELATED: Minnesota’s medical cannabis program adds 2 new conditions

IBS is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort and irregular bowel movements. It can result in diarrhea, constipation, both diarrhea and constipation, or bloating.

OCD is characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts that often cause significant emotional distress and anxiety. This can lead to behaviors that the affected person feels compelled to perform to reduce that distress.

Research has shown that people who suffer from these conditions can see benefits from using medical cannabis to treat their symptoms.

With the two newest additions, the medical cannabis program now has 19 qualifying medical conditions.

People interested in the program can see the full list of Qualifying Medical Conditions on the Office of Medical Cannabis website, HERE.

To become a patient in the medical cannabis program, a person must be certified by a participating health care practitioner for at least one qualifying medical condition.

More information on enrolling in the medical cannabis program is available, HERE.