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New conditions being considered for medical pot

Fourteen new medical conditions from anorexia to post-traumatic stress disorder are under review by the state to determine if patients should qualify for medical marijuana.

Individuals have filed 22 petitions to have the conditions qualified for treatment under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, board spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Monday.

Medical marijuana is now restricted to patients who suffer from a limited, predetermined list of conditions.

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The law allows the public to petition the Illinois Department of Public Health to add diseases to the list twice a year. The advisory board considers the petitions and makes a recommendation to IDPH as to the benefit of medical marijuana to help patients with conditions not on the state’s list.

Besides anorexia nervosa and PTSD, the 22 petitions seek to add anxiety, chronic post-operative pain, and diabetes; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and essential thrombcythemia with a JAK 2 mutation; irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and Neuro-Behcet’s autoimmune disease; neuropathy, osteoarthritis, polycystic kidney disease, and superior canal dehiscence syndrome.

A public hearing is scheduled for May 4 at the James R. Thompson Center, where anyone wishing to present evidence concerning those 14 conditions and the petitions to the advisory board can do so. They must file a written statement of intent to present to the board with the Division of Medical Cannabis no later than 15 days before the hearing or by April 18. The 13-member advisory board is made up of medical personnel and registered medical marijuana patients.