Medical marijuana has been approved for three new medical conditions, while two others were rejected, Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull announced Friday.
Seagull said in a press release that she had followed the Consumer Protection Department’s Board of Physicians’ recommendations to add hydrocephalus with intractable headache, intractable migraines and trigeminal neuralgia to the list of conditions for which doctors may certify patients.
Since the program opened to patients in September 2014, the list of approved conditions has grown from 11 to 22 for adults, as well as six for children.
The nine-member board, which includes Seagull as an ex officio member, voted against adding anxiety disorders and Meniere’s disease to the approved list. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo, according to the release.
“The Board of Physicians always provides thorough and valuable advice to our team,” Seagull said in the release. “I want to thank the Board for the time they invest, and for their guidance. I will be following the recommendations of the Board as we move into the regulation drafting process.”
A public hearing was held Wednesday at which petitioners stated their cases for adding the new medical conditions. New conditions can be added by petition or by an act of the General Assembly.
“I also want to thank those who testified for their bravery, and for telling their stories on Wednesday,” Seagull said. “We know our program is at its best when we hear from the medical community, and from patients whose lives can be improved by this medication.”
As of June 4, there were 18,379 patients registered to use medical marijuana, including 4,346 in New Haven County, 1,118 in Middlesex County and 1,145 in Litchfield County. There are now 697 certifying physicians who have registered with the state.
In order to purchase medical marijuana, a patient must be certified by a doctor and then choose one of nine dispensaries where the drug may be purchased. Connecticut’s four growing facilities produce the drug in a variety of forms, including those that can be smoked, inhaled, placed under the tongue or eaten in baked goods.
The next step is for the Consumer Protection Department to draft a regulation to add the conditions, which will be followed by a public hearing and comment period. The regulation then will be reviewed by the attorney general’s office and must be approved by the Regulation Review Committee of the General Assembly.