HARRISBURG, PA — A process that would enable additional medical conditions to be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania has been approved by the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board.
The advisory board recently approved the process, the state health department announced Friday.
“As medical literature surrounding the uses of medical marijuana expands, we want to ensure our list of qualifying conditions meets the needs of Pennsylvanians,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement.
According to information from the state, an individual can submit a request to add a condition to the list by contacting Rafirstname.lastname@example.org. The request must be submitted at least 15 days prior to a scheduled meeting of the board. If the board approves the request, the application will then go on to the secretary of health for consideration.
If rejected, the requestor will have the ability to request reconsideration by the chairperson of the board. If a request is denied a second time, either by the chairperson or the board, the individual request will be denied for one year, or until new scientific evidence is available, according to the new policy.
Requesters can be members of the public or physicians.
“This process will allow those with serious medical conditions to apply to have their condition be part of the list of qualifying conditions, with the support of medical professionals and documentation that supports their application. This process further enhances our efforts to provide a medically and clinically-based program that assists Pennsylvanians in need,” Levine said.
The application can be found under the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board section of the state health department’s website.
Additional information requested on the application includes references supporting the opinion, documentation that supports the efficacy of medical marijuana as a form of treatment for the condition and documentation that supports the opinion that the benefits of medical marijuana use outweigh any potential health risks.
According to data from the state, more than 95,000 patients in Pennsylvania have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, and more than 64,000 have identification cards and are able to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary. Approximately 1,360 physicians have registered for the program, 945 of whom have been approved as practitioners.
The current list of approved conditions for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania includes: chronic pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, cancer, Crohn’s disease, damage to nervous tissue of the central nervous system, spastic movement disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, intractable seizures, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, neuropathies, opioid-use disorder, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, and terminal illness.