People suffering from anxiety disorders and Tourette’s syndrome will soon be able to legally obtain medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
State Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced on Thursday that anxiety disorders and Tourette’s will be added to the list of “serious medical conditions” that are included in the state’s medical marijuana program next week.
Levine said the new inclusion was based on a recommendations from the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, as well as research on marijuana treatment with both conditions.
“I do not take this decision lightly, and do have recommendations for physicians, dispensary pharmacists and patients in terms of the use of medical marijuana to treat these conditions,” Levine said in a statement.
“For both conditions, medical marijuana is not first line treatment and should not replace traditional therapies but should be used in conjunction with them, when recommended by a physician,” she continued.
“In addition, medical marijuana is not recommended to treat children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, as their brains are still developing,” Levine added, while also a cautioning pregnant women diagnosed with either of the conditions against the use of drug given its unknown impacts on fetuses.
According to the state’s Office of Health, there are roughly 111,000 active patients who have received certifications under the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania, which legalized medical pot back in 2016.