State panel holds off on proposal to allow medical cannabis for opioid addiction
A panel of doctors at the state Department of Consumer Protection tabled a decision on whether to recommend allowing people with opioid use disorders or withdrawal symptoms to use medical marijuana.
The DCP’s Board of Physicians met Monday to consider public proposals to add four medical conditions to the list of 22 diagnoses that can qualify adults, and six conditions that can qualify people under age 18, for medical cannabis prescriptions.
Connecticut’s medical marijuana regulations passed in 2012 with 11 approved conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cachexia or wasting from chronic illness, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable spasticity related to nerve damage in the spinal cord. The list has been updated for adults through the regulatory process twice since then, adding six conditions.
On Monday, the board’s members considered petitions to add three new conditions, including opioid use disorders and opioid withdrawal, to the list. They also considered a fourth condition, progressive degenerative disc disease of the spine, suggested for consideration by a board member, not by petition.
After hearing arguments from advocates of using medical marijuana for each of the petitioned conditions, the board voted to table the proposals for opioid use disorder and the disc disease until its next meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.
Medical marijuana is widely used in Connecticut and other states to treat chronic pain and other medical conditions, though no state so far has approved therapeutic cannabis to treat addiction.
The board voted to recommend allowing both adults and children to use medical marijuana to treat osteogenesis, a group of bone disorders, but rejected a proposal to add albinism and nystagmus — a condition of repetitive, uncontrolled movements of the eyes associated with albinism — to the list.
The state commissioner of consumer protection reviews the Board of Physicians’ recommendations before the legislature’s Regulations Review Committee makes a final call on whether the conditions can be