ROCHESTER, Minn. – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been added to the list of conditions that qualify for Minnesota’s medical marijuana program. It was one of nine conditions people petitioned the Department of Health to consider adding, and the only one chosen.
Stewartville resident Maren Schroeder filed the petition for consideration of PTSD this past summer. Schroeder, who is the founder of Sensible Minnesota, also suffers from PTSD. She tells us that pre-clinical studies have shown cannabis can be beneficial in reducing symptoms like anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares.
“I think it will help me as a patient,” she explains. “I have treated with cannabis in the past and it’s been very helpful in reducing the anxiety, it helps take away nightmares. I’m really excited not only for myself to have safe and legal access, but I’m excited for other patients to have safe and legal access and the opportunity to try it.”
The Department of Health also opted to allow manufacturers to develop and provide topical formulas of medical cannabis.
Another petition Schroeder and Sensible Minnesota worked on was one that would allow vaporization of whole plant cannabis. The commissioner, Ed Ehlinger, did not approve whole flower plants as an ingestion method. It’s a decision that disappointed Schroeder, who says it would be much cheaper to produce.
“The oils take processing, they can take a lot of lab testing,” she explains. “If patients had access to the plant itself, we could really reduce costs, which would help supplement also, the cost of oils.”
Schroeder one of the major reasons there is a struggle to keep costs down is because the program itself is so restrictive.
“As the commissioner said, it’s not in the spirit of the law for him to approve whole plant as an ingestion method and in thinking about it, he’s right,” Schroeder adds. “The spirit of the law was to restrict access and keep the program small. The problem is we have patients that need this that can’t afford it that are forced to the black market, so it’s on the legislature to fix this.”
With the addition of PTSD, there are now 11 conditions qualified for the program.