ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A panel advising Minnesota's top health official says the state should not allow patients in pain to buy medical marijuana starting next year.

Adding pain as a qualifying condition could drastically change Minnesota's new medical marijuana program. Enrollment has been low since the program launched this summer, and officials think expanding to allow intractable pain patients could double or triple the number of customers.

A majority of medical experts weighing the question recommended Wednesday that the state should not add intractable pain. Its recommendation runs counter to more than 400 public comments the state collected from residents, prospective patients and medical professionals who overwhelmingly supported expanding the program.

The decision ultimately lies with Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger. Ehlinger will decide by Jan. 1.