The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board rejected petitions to allow medical cannabis to be used to treat traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, hepatitis C, major depressive disorder, and chronic insomnia.
Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said board members were concerned that the applications for traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, and hepatitis C would have allowed people to qualify for the state medical cannabis program in cases that would be inappropriate.
The board was worried that juveniles could qualify for the program if they suffered acute traumatic brain injuries. There is evidence that medical cannabis benefits chronic hepatitis and chronic hepatitis C patients, but Johnson said board members felt it would be inappropriate to allow medical cannabis for acute cases of hepatitis.
Molly Robertson, an advisory board member, called the situation “ridiculous.” “I don’t know why we would make them wait to add one word to the application. The bottom line is patients are waiting,” said Robertson. There are 367,925 medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania that have been diagnosed with one or more of 23 qualifying conditions.
The board is unable to amend applications but it can notify applicants to resubmit and request changes.