January 11, 2017
MDH Statement on Proposed Changes to Qualifying Conditions Process
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) developed the state’s medical cannabis program at the direction of the 2014 Minnesota Legislature. We are proud of the work we have done to implement a highly complex medical delivery model for medical cannabis in Minnesota.
In consultation with numerous stakeholders including law enforcement, health care providers and patients, MDH has developed a predictable rules-based process through which the public can petition for the addition of new qualifying conditions to the program. This deliberative and science-based petition process is designed to ensure balance and transparency, while still appropriately subjecting any decision to oversight and potential reversal by the Legislature.
In 2016, Commissioner Ehlinger carefully reviewed the public input and available evidence before deciding to reject nine of the 10 requests for new conditions. Dr. Ehlinger agreed to add PTSD after concluding that the condition presented the strongest case for potential benefits and had few effective treatment alternatives available for some patients with the condition.
The Legislature now has the entire 2017 session to take action on any of Dr. Ehlinger’s decisions with regard to qualifying conditions.