Sensible Minnesota seeks to add chronic pain, TBI to Minnesota medical cannabis program

Originally published by Sensible Minnesota.

Sensible Minnesota is petitioning the Minnesota Department of Health for the addition of conditions and delivery methods. This year’s petitions are focused on expanding patient count by opening the qualifications for pain patients, as well as improving the variety of delivery methods.

The 2019 condition petitions will include:

  • Chronic Pain. Chronic pain may include joint pain, muscle aches, nerve pain, fatigue, sleep issues, loss of stamina and flexibility due to decreased activity, and mood problems including depression, anxiety, and irritability. Minnesota is one of a handful of states that does not include chronic pain as a qualifying condition.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic brain injury is an acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain; this does not include acute brain injuries. Most other states include symptomologies of traumatic brain injuries that qualify patients for medical cannabis; Minnesota does not include symptomologies, except for those that could qualify under intractable pain or severe and persistent muscle spasms. Cannabis has also shown the ability to alleviate the disease pathology providing neuroprotectant and anti-inflammatory properties and increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

The team is also working on a delivery method petition for a new delivery method:

  • Oral uptake delivery. Oral uptake delivery, also known as oral-mucosal delivery, permits the user to absorb cannabinoids through the mucosal lining of the mouth, permitting for an oral delivery that does not require the patient to swallow the product, which then must break down through the gastrointestinal tract and liver prior to entering the bloodstream. Oral uptake provides effects in 15-60 minutes, wherein a swallowed product can take 60 minutes or more for effect. Oral uptake delivery can be done with gums, lozenges, mints, and other orally dissoluble products.

They need your help to ensure these petitions are successful! If you are a patient, caregiver, family member, health care provider, or someone else who could benefit from the addition of these conditions or delivery method, please consider providing a letter of support. 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 via Sensible Minnesota’s website.

As always, the petitions are more successful when the community shows its support, both patients and health care providers. If you have questions or would like more information, please reach out to the Sensible Minnesota petitioning team, petitions@sensible.mn.