The word is out! The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) will be reviewing a petition to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana license in Colorado.
From the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):
Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council Meeting
Friday April 10, 2014
Hilton Garden Inn Cherry Creek, 600 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80246
Topic: PTSD Petition Review
This meeting is open to public attendance. However, there will be no public comment taken.
The Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) will review the petition and discuss the scientific evidence pertaining to the medical use of marijuana to treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The SAC is responsible for making an approval or denial recommendation to the department’s executive director regarding the petition to add PTSD as a debilitating medical condition to the Medical Marijuana Registry.
This will be the third or fourth time the CDPHE has been petitioned to add PTSD. Because all previous petitions were rejected, in nearly 15 years, not a single new condition has been added to the original eight in Amendment 20.
What makes this time different?
The SAC. This is the first time a petition will be reviewed by a 13-member committee in a public forum. Previous petitions were reviewed by a single doctor or small closed committee. The SAC is made up of medical experts and researchers with one exception: me, the member appointed to represent patients.
Updated standards. Previously, the CDPHE only looked at human clinical trials to make their decisions. We all know there aren’t many of those for cannabis and PTSD or other conditions, so the bar was set pretty high. Because the SAC included observational studies in the research they recommended for funding, it only seemed appropriate to also include observational studies when considering new petitions. So this time, both clinical trials and observational studies will be included in the review process.
It’s interesting to note that the only condition that has passed muster and been recommended to the Board of Health is Tourette’s Syndrome, which the BoH rejected. Perhaps another petition now would be received more favorably.
What can we expect?
Although public input won’t be allowed, the public can attend the meeting and bare witness to the discussion. Assuming the SAC makes a favorable recommendation, there should be time for public comment when the Board of Health meets to vote on the recommendation.