Bills relating to medical cannabis use in treating opioid addiction and industrial hemp have cleared another hurdle after being passed by Nevada’s Senate.
The first, Senate Bill 374, includes opioid addiction as a qualifying condition for access to medical cannabis.
A study from Columbia University in 2015 revealed marijuana provided relief from symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal . With an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, it’s also worth noting the rate of prescription opioid abuse in the USA, which has become an epidemic, is dramatically reduced in states where medical cannabis is legal.
Senate Bill 374 (PDF) also makes other changes; including one related to certain types of discrimination against marijuana card holders and another allowing health care and massage therapists to administer products containing cannabis for topical use.
Senate Bill 377 now heads to the House of Representatives.
The second bill relating to industrial hemp passed unanimously. While existing laws in Nevada enable the cultivation of industrial hemp by the state’s Department of Agriculture or an institution of higher education, Senate Bill 396 (PDF) provides for a separate program for cultivation and hemp seed production by commercial entities.
Additionally, it also allows for the production of edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products made from industrial hemp and for a marijuana dispensary to dispense these products.
Senate Bill 396 now also proceeds to the House of Representatives.
In Nevada, patients aren’t necessarily limited to sourcing cannabis medicines from dispensaries.
According to NORML, current medical marijuana law in Nevada allows home cultivation of medical cannabis – up to twelve mature plants for those who meet the eligibility criteria, which includes not living within 25 miles of a dispensary or being unable to travel to a dispensary due to health reasons.
Medical cannabis is available to those with:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Persistent muscle spasms or seizures
- Severe nausea or pain
Other conditions may qualify, subject to approval.
The most recent program statistics from the Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Cardholder Registry (February 2017), indicate there are 26,519 active cardholders in the state. Severe pain is the most common qualifying condition among registered cardholders.