Conn. physicians panel OKs four more conditions for medical marijuana treatment

By Kevin Zimmerman

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The state Board of Physicians has recommended adding four conditions to Connecticut’s medical marijuana program: muscular dystrophy; neuropathic pain and/or spasticity associated with fibromyalgia; severe rheumatoid arthritis; and post-herpetic neuralgia or shingles.

The group rejected three other conditions – atopic dermatitis, osteoarthritis and severe COPD/emphysema – due largely to a lack of evidence that medical marijuana was the best or only medicinal treatment for those conditions.

The board’s recommendations will now go to Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris; if he agrees, the additions then go through a formal regulation review process. Should the four conditions be approved, a total of 26 adult conditions would be accepted for medical marijuana treatment. Six conditions have been approved for patients under the age of 18.

Connecticut legalized medical marijuana for adults in 2012. At present there are more than 15,000 medical marijuana patients in the state and nearly 600 physicians registered to treat patients. There are eight dispensaries in the state, including one in Bethel, with a ninth expected to open soon in Milford.

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