Connecticut should see its medical marijuana program grow after a review committee approved five new qualifying conditions at a meeting today.

The Regulations Review Committee of the General Assembly decided that Tourette Syndrome, interstitial cystitis, MALS Syndrome, vulvar burning and intractable neuropathic pain should be added to the list. The committee now simply needs to submit the new regulations to the Secretary of the State’s Office, which will post them online and make them final.

“I am pleased that more patients with severe debilitating conditions will now have medical marijuana as an option for treatment, and I look forward to continuing the Department’s work on this program,” said consumer protection commissioner Michelle H. Seagull.

Her Department revealed that there are now 37,080 patients participating in its medical marijuana program, while there are 1,186 approved physicians. There are now 36 conditions for adults, and 10 for children.

States typically see a significant increase in patient numbers once the list of qualifying conditions grows. More than 3,000 anxiety sufferers joined Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program within a few weeks of it being added to the state’s list of qualifying conditions this summer.

The Illinois program has also swelled since post-traumatic stress was added as a qualifying condition in 2016. It saw a 93% year-on-year increase in registrations during the 12 months to June 30, 2019.

A total of 37,000 patients signed up for the program during the year, which is the highest annual figure since the first dispensaries opened in November 2015. It means there are now more than 87,000 patients registered to receive medical cannabis in Illinois.

The increase in sign-ups can be attributed to the state removing barriers to participation, such as eliminating the need for fingerprint verification and criminal record checks. The list of qualifying conditions grew in August, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off legislation adding chronic pain, anorexia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and a few other illnesses to the list.

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