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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are the latest to be added as qualifying conditions for Minnesota's medical marijuana program.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed the additions on Wednesday, with the conditions qualifying under state law from Aug. 1, 2023.

Health commissioner Jan Malcolm says it will offer patients with either condition "more therapy options," with MDH saying research shows medical cannabis can prove beneficial in treating their symptoms.

The decision was made after a period of public input on potential additions to the qualification list, with petitions sought from the public followed by a public comment period.

The department notes that OCD "is characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts that often cause significant emotional distress and anxiety," which in turn can lead to behaviors people feel compelled to perform to reduce that stress.

People with IBS can suffer from abdominal pain or discomfort and irregular bowel movements.

Conditions that were rejected for medical marijuana were gastroparesis – which slows down the emptying of the stomach – and opioid use disorder.

MDH says gastroparesis was rejected "because research indicates that cannabis can make the condition worse," while medical and mental health providers recommended against opioid use disorder "due to lack of evidence for its effectiveness and the availability of FDA-approved medications for treatment."

Those with IBS or OCD who qualify will be able to enroll in the medical cannabis program from July 1, and receive marijuana from the state's approved manufacturers a month later.

Details on how to register can be found here. A full list of qualifying conditions can be found here.

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