Colorado Bill SB 17-017 Approves Medical Marijuana for PTSD


Hoban Law Group declares victory for veterans, sufferers of stress disorders.

DENVER–Hoban Law Group, veterans, and medical marijuana advocates proclaimed victory on June 6, as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB17-017 into law. The bill adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other acute stress disorders to conditions approved for treatment with medical marijuana.

“We at Hoban Law Group extend our deep gratitude to Senator Aguilar, Representative Singer, and the other members of the Colorado General Assembly for making medical marijuana available to PTSD survivors in Colorado,” said lead attorney Adam Foster in a press release. “It has been an honor to work hand-in-hand with veterans and other stakeholders to shepherd this critically important bill through the legislative process.”


Foster and Hoban Law Group represented plaintiffs that sued the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (the agency that approves conditions for MMJ treatment) to add PTSD to qualified medical conditions. Though the agency has turned down requests to approve PTSD for years, SB17-017 now adds a legislative layer of approval for those seeking access to medical marijuana for acute stress disorders.

The new bill will:

  • Allow individuals with PTSD to have a conversation with their physician about using medical marijuana in a treatment plan.
  • Allow veterans with PTSD to participate in a state-authorized medical marijuana program.
  • Help PTSD patients who are unable to afford their medicine pay less than the higher price of retail marijuana.
  • Provide access to medical marijuana strains that are not available in the retail marketplace.

SB17-17 was first proposed in early 2016, and met with enthusiasm by PTSD and cannabis advocates. Medical marijuana opponents in Colorado had long-cited lack of scientific research on the benefits of MMJ for treating PTSD for continued denials to add PTSD to the list of approved medical conditions.

In April, the Colorado Senate finally approved SB17-17-017 with a vote of 32-2. Colorado joins twenty other states that have approved medical marijuana treatment for PTSD and acute stress disorders.