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‘Intractable Pain’ Now Qualifies For Minnesota Medical Marijuana

‘Intractable Pain’ Now Qualifies For Minnesota Medical Marijuana

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 12/08/2015 in Medical Marijuana Conditions

Minnesota health officials have decided to expand the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, to include pain patients, specifically intractable pain. But what qualifies pain as ‘intractable pain’?

The state defines intractable pain as, “pain that cannot be removed or otherwise treated”. And states that medical marijuana should only be an option if

no cure or relief has been found through normal medical methods, or after reasonable efforts.

Routine knee pain, for instance, is an example of pain that wouldn’t qualify, explains Dr. David Shultz, medical director at Medical Pain Clinics (MAPS), in Minnesota. What would qualify? Pain as a result of neurological damage, and life-altering injuries, i.e. pain that cannot be fixed or treated. “Even after the normal course of healing, pain impulses are continuing to course through the nervous system,” says Dr. Shultz.


The Minnesota Medical Association, however, has expressed hesitance about the recent inclusion of intractable pain, stating that it is difficult for a doctor to “objectively certify” a patient with that condition. “Treatment of severe and chronic pain deserves careful consideration and medical cannabis should never be a first-line therapy,” the association said in a statement.

The Department of Health Commissioner, Ed Ehlinger, and officials from Minnesota’s two medical marijuana manufacturers, however, have stated that efforts to get healthcare providers on board with the program, will be doubled, immediately.

Prospective pain patients may start registering in July 2017, a month before medical marijuana actually goes on sale, to newly certified patients.

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