Senate makes major changes to medical marijuana program

Published: Mar. 22, 2019 at 5:20 PM CDT
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The Senate voted overwhelmingly to make changes to the state's medical marijuana program. They amended and passed House bills to increase access to the program.

House Bill 1283, as amended, removes a line on the certification form making a doctor say whether a patient would get a therapeutic benefit to having marijuana. It also would allow veterans who get healthcare from the VA to apply.

HB 1519 includes more conditions that qualify. The original addition of 12 was cut down to four because Senators said ones like Anorexia and Parkinson's disease are already included, but they added four more, including brain injury and Autism spectrum disorder.

HB 1417 allows for cancer patients to have an enhanced amount of dried leaves and flowers. HB 1364, which would allow for edible marijuana products, was held over until Monday.

Chris Nolden suffered from an opioid addiction after a back injury, one he says nearly killed him. He's very happy about the progress made Friday, but he says he ultimately wants opioid use and opioid withdrawal added back in.

“Almost across the board in every state that has a medical cannabis program, you see a 33 to 66 percent reduction in opiate use,” said Nolden.

All three bills will go back to the house for them to reconsider, and there's an expectation at least one of the bills will end up in conference committee.

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