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Program on medical cannabis planned by Nokomis Healthy Seniors Aug. 2

Posted on 25 June 2018 by calvin

It’s been four years since the use of medical cannabis—commonly referred to as medical marijuana—was approved in Minnesota. But, many people still have questions and misconceptions about its use and how the state-managed program works.

So when several older adults who participate in Nokomis Healthy Seniors (NHS), which supports local elders maintain their health and independence, asked about the possibility of hearing from an expert to educate them about medical cannabis for its Health and Education program, the nonprofit’s Executive Director, Megan Elliasen, took notice.

Everyone is welcome to attend a free program on Thur., Aug. 2 at 11am at Nokomis Healthy Seniors’ office, located within Bethel Lutheran Church, 4120 17th Ave. S. The program will be presented by staff from Minnesota Medical Solutions of Otsego, MN, which is one of two companies that “cultivates” medical cannabis in the state. No RSVPs are needed. People can come as early as 9:30am to take advantage of NHS’ free weekly “Nurse is In” blood pressure clinic and grab a treat and socialize.

Photo right: Medical cannabis in Minnesota is provided to qualified patients as a liquid, pill, topical or vaporized delivery method that does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form. (Stock image)

Over its 24-year history, Nokomis Healthy Seniors’ program has presented a wide range of topics to educate and benefit older adults—from learning about how to spot a stroke and organics recycling to decluttering and the benefit of companion rabbits. But scheduling a session about medical cannabis marked the first time the organization tackled a topic some consider controversial.

“That’s why I decided to schedule an expert to speak about it,” Elliasen said. “I think the public has a lot of questions and misconceptions about it, and since many older adults are dealing with chronic pain and other medical issues, more and more of them are wondering how the state program works and if medical cannabis might be able to help them manage their conditions and improve their quality of life.”

Effective as of July 1, 2018, legal Minnesota residents who have been diagnosed with one of these the qualifying conditions are eligible to receive medical cannabis*:
• Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting;
• glaucoma;
• HIV/AIDS; Tourette’s syndrome;
• amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS);
• seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
• severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis;
• Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease;
• terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year;
• intractable pain;
• post-traumatic stress disorder; and autism spectrum disorders
(*source: health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/patients/conditions.html)

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