After significant work by our policy team, patients statewide, and other stakeholders, a number of changes were approved to the Minnesota Medical Cannabis program in late 2020/2021. These changes include:
- Addition of smokable, raw cannabis flower for patients 21 and older. This change will begin effective March 1, 2022, as the Office of Medical Cannabis and the state’s two manufacturers work to implement this huge change. Watch our social media for opportunities for input on the rulemaking process.
- Allowing curbside pick-up. This change makes permanent a provision that was allowed by Executive Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients and patient care centers appreciated this easy way for patients to obtain medicine, and we jointly advocated with stakeholders for its inclusion in the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill.
- A patient no longer needs a health care provider to certify they are in need of a designated caregiver. This means that any patient can have a “back-up” caregiver, who can be a friend or family member, that can obtain medical cannabis for them. The caregiver still needs to register and complete a background check, but we are thrilled this legislation was passed. This makes permanent a provision from the COVID-19 Executive Order on medical cannabis.
- Expanding the number of patients one registered designated caregiver can serve from one patient household to six patient households. This makes permanent a provision from the COVID-19 Executive Order on medical cannabis, with a limit of six.
Additionally, as of August 1, 2021, we have patients with new qualifying conditions eligible for the program. Patients with sickle cell disease and chronic motor or vocal tic disorder now qualify for medical cannabis. This change follows the 2020 addition of chronic pain, which vastly expanded access to medical cannabis for Minnesotans.
Finally, two petitions were filed with the Office of Medical Cannabis for the 2021 petition cycle: anxiety disorder and gastrointestinal edibles (“GI edibles”). If approved, anxiety would cover a number of anxiety diagnoses for patients 25 and older (we do not support the age restriction), and GI edibles would allow for infused food products to be sold to patients. You can sign petitions and leave comments in support of these petitions through Action Network:
Stay tuned to our social media for the most current updates about medical cannabis in Minnesota.
This post is cross-posted with minor edits to the Sensible Minnesota blog.