The Status of Cannabis Legalization in Minnesota
In June 2023, Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis across the United States. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota signed a bill into law on Tuesday, June 27.
With White Earth Nation voting to legalize medical cannabis by a 994-150 tribal vote, patients who seek relief from its many healing properties can now consume it without penalty, reports Red Lake Nation news. Six years after the state of Minnesota legalized medical cannabis in 2014, “the measure allows the Tribal Council to create its own rules governing medical cannabis on the reservation that wouldn’t be subject to Minnesota’s medical marijuana laws, which are considered among the most restrictive in the nation,” reports the news source.
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) News reported in 2019 just how restrictive the program is. “More than four years in, the state’s program serves relatively few people and is considered to be too expensive by many patients,” says MPR news. “The exact form the program will take in the future is unclear, as some lawmakers push for Minnesota to join other states that allow the sale of recreational marijuana.”
While Minnesota and dozens of other states consider recreational use along with medicinal, up to 11 states in the U.S. legally allow both types in their regions, proving it not only helps patients, but it also seriously boosts the economy. In 2021, the state announced that they will begin allowing access for patients to purchase edible products as well as cannabis flower for smoking. Since March 2022, registered patients ages 21 and older can access smokable medical cannabis. As of Aug. 1, 2022, registered patients can begin to buy gummies and chews. However, patients must have completed a consultation with a dispensary pharmacist before they can buy this medicine.
Qualifying Conditions and Costs
Minnesota’s initial qualifying conditions for the state medical cannabis program included:
Along with having a qualifying condition, a Minnesota resident must prove their place of address with a valid state driver’s license or identification card. The state fee for the Minnesota Medical Cannabis application is $200 which is paid annually. Patients who have SSI, SSD, or are enrolled in MinnesotaCare may be eligible for a reduced fee of $50.
A patient can add a caregiver to their Registry account, the caregiver will receive an email invitation to set up their own account in the Registry. The caregiver must provide: name, address, date of birth, phone number, and a government-issued ID: State ID card, Driver’s License, or Passport and will need to complete a criminal background check through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The caregiver application fee is $15 and they must be at least 21 years of age. The caregiver background check is valid for two years.
You are no longer required to get approval from your health care practitioner to add a caregiver to your medical cannabis certification. Medical cannabis caregivers are allowed to support up to six medical cannabis patients at a time.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
Minnesota has very strict possession and cultivation regulations, with only two in-state manufacturers producing all medical cannabis in Minnesota. Based on state law, “manufacturers are required to ensure that the medical cannabis distributed contains a maximum of a 30-day supply of the dosage determined for that patient.” Additionally, “pharmacists at registered Cannabis Patient Centers recommend specific dosage and type for patients.” Permissible forms of medical cannabis include but are not limited to oil, pill, and any vaporized delivery method, which does not use raw plant or dry leaves. Gummies and chews will be allowed for patient purchase and consumption starting in August 2022.
The Minnesota Department of Health begun allowing infused cannabis edible products including gummies and chews as of August 1, 2022. The state now allows patients 21-years-older and up access to purchase raw and dried cannabis for smoking as of March 1, 2022. Patients are not allowed to grow their own cannabis flower at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, all applicants must provide a state-issued driver’s license or identification card to prove residency or they are not eligible for a medical cannabis certification in the state.
The state of Minnesota has never officially issued medical cards as part of the medical cannabis program, but are instead simply certifications. The first and most important step is to schedule a physician appointment with Veriheal. You can upload your medical records for evaluation by the physician. Following your appointment with the physician and if you are approved, he or she will recommend certification for medical marijuana.
From start to finish, the physician consultation usually takes 10-15 minutes.
Veriheal has a very high approval rate for medical cannabis licensure. However, if you are not approved, you will be refunded in full.
Minnesota considers chronic pain as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.
The state of Minnesota requires that you buy any medical cannabis prescriptions from state approved dispensaries, which provide different types of medicine at different locations.
As of August 2022, medical cannabis patients in Minnesota will be able to purchase all forms of cannabis products. This includes dry cannabis flower, edibles, vapes, concentrates and extracts, tinctures, topicals and pre-rolls.
The cost for your annual registration fee is $200. Patients who receive supplemental income or health assistance may be able to qualify for a reduced fee for a total of $50.
Yes. Due to changes in the law, the patient or caregiver can use curbside pick-up to access their cannabis medication.