A marijuana plant
A marijuana plant.

The legislature’s Regulations Review Committee approved the addition of eight new conditions to the medical marijuana program on Tuesday.

The eight conditions apply to all adults, but only two are allowed for those under 18.

There are currently 27,340 patients in the medical marijuana program, 953 certifying physicians, nine dispensary facilities and now a total of 30 conditions approved for adults and eight for patients under 18.

Lora Rae Anderson, spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), said the approved regulations will now be submitted to the Secretary of the State’s office and that the regulations will go into effect once the secretary of state posts them. Anderson said she expects the regulations to be enacted within a week and registration for patients to start immediately after that occurs.

For adults, the following conditions were approved Tuesday:

  • Spasticity (muscle contractions that causes stiffness or tightness) or neuropathic pain associated with fibromyalgia.
  • Severe rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Post herpetic neuralgia, which is a complication of shingles that affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • Hydrocephalus (the buildup of fluid in the cavities within the brain) with intractable headache. Intractable means that a condition cannot be treated or remedied by another medication or treatment, according to DCP.
  • Intractable headache syndromes.
  • Neuropathic facial pain.

For adults and patients under 18:

  • Muscular dystrophy, which is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta, sometimes called brittle bone disease.

“Now that these regulations have been accepted, more patients with severe medical conditions will have access to medical marijuana as a treatment option,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull in a statement. “I want to thank our Board of Physicians and the committee for their thoughtful consideration of these conditions. I continue to be proud of the careful way that our program has expanded, and its commitment to a true medical model.”

Mackenzie is a former health reporter at CT Mirror. Prior to her time at CT Mirror, she covered health care, social services and immigration for the News-Times in Danbury and has more than a decade of reporting experience. She traveled to Uganda for the News-Times to report an award-winning five-part series about a Connecticut doctor's experience in Africa. A native of upstate New York, she started her journalism career at The Recorder in Greenfield, Mass., and worked at Newsday on Long Island for three years. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she wrote her master's thesis about illegal detentions in Haiti's women's prison.

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