Establishment of Additional Debilitating Medical Conditions, Medical Treatments or Diseases
(b) Persons seeking to add a medical condition, medical treatment or disease to the list of debilitating medical conditions under the Act shall submit a written petition to the commissioner and request that the commissioner present the petition to the board.
(c) Absent a showing of good cause, the commissioner shall only present a petition to the board if it includes the following information:
(1) The extent to which the medical condition, medical treatment or disease is generally accepted by the medical community and other experts as a valid, existing medical condition, medical treatment or disease;
(2) If one or more treatments for the condition, rather than the condition itself, are alleged to be the cause of a patient’s suffering, the extent to which the treatments causing suffering are generally accepted by the medical community and other experts as valid treatments for the condition;
(3) The extent to which the condition or the treatments thereof cause severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, spasticity or otherwise substantially limits one or more major life activities of the patient;
(4) The availability of conventional medical therapies, other than those that cause suffering, to alleviate suffering caused by the condition or the treatment thereof;
(5) The extent to which evidence that is generally accepted among the medical community and other experts supports a finding that the use of marijuana alleviates suffering caused by the condition or the treatment thereof;
(6) Any information or studies known to the petitioner regarding any beneficial or adverse effects from the use of marijuana in patients with the medical condition, medical treatment or disease that is the subject of the petition; and
(7) Letters of support from physicians or other licensed health care professionals knowledgeable about the condition, treatment or disease.
(d) If a medical condition, medical treatment or disease in a petition has been previously considered and rejected by the commissioner, or is determined by the commissioner to be substantially similar to such a rejected condition, treatment or disease, the commissioner may deny the petition without first submitting it to the board unless new scientific research supporting the request is included in the petition.
(e) If a written petition meets the requirements of this section, the commissioner shall refer the written petition to the board for a public hearing at the next board meeting that is at least sixty days after the date the petition was submitted and at which the board will be considering petitions.
(f) At least twice per year, the board shall conduct a public hearing to evaluate any petitions referred to it by the commissioner and to consider any other medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases that the board, on its own initiative, believes should be reviewed for possible inclusion on the list of debilitating medical conditions under the Act.
(g) No less than twenty days before each public hearing at which the board will consider petitions or the inclusion of debilitating conditions on its own initiative, the department shall publish on its website a list of the debilitating medical conditions, medical treatments and diseases that the board will be considering at its upcoming hearing so that the petitioner, where applicable, and other members of the public may offer public comments before the board.
(h) In addition to information provided in a petition, the board may examine scientific, medical or other evidence and research pertaining to the petition, and may gather information, in person or in writing, from other persons knowledgeable about the medical condition, medical treatment or disease being considered.
(i) Following the public hearing, the board shall consider the public comments and any additional information or expertise made available to the board for each proposed debilitating medical condition considered at the hearing. The board shall issue a written recommendation to the commissioner as to whether the medical condition, medical treatment or disease should be added to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the palliative use of marijuana. The board shall include in its recommendation the following:
(1) Whether the medical condition, medical treatment or disease is debilitating;
(2) Whether marijuana is more likely than not to have the potential to be beneficial to treat or alleviate the debilitation associated with the medical condition, medical treatment or disease; and
(3) Other matters that the board considers relevant to the approval or the denial of the petition.
(j) At least three members of the board, which shall constitute a quorum, shall consider each proposed debilitating medical condition. A majority of the board members present at the hearing where each proposed debilitating medical condition was presented for public comment shall concur in the recommendation submitted to the commissioner and that recommendation shall be considered the official recommendation of the board. Any board member who disagrees with the board’s official recommendation may submit a dissenting or concurring recommendation to the commissioner.
(k) If, after receiving the board’s official recommendation and any dissenting or concurring recommendation, the commissioner concludes that the medical condition, medical treatment or disease that was under consideration should be added to the list of debilitating medical conditions under the act, the commissioner shall proceed to promulgate regulations, in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, 20 sections 4-166 to 4-189, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, expanding the list of debilitating medical conditions accordingly.