Becoming a patient in Minnesota

Summary

To become a patient under Minnesota law, the person must be a Minnesota resident who has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a healthcare practitioner and has registered with the state Department of Health (DOH). Patients must submit their recommendation and any other paperwork required by DOH within 90 calendar days of the physician signed diagnosis.

What's Legal

SF 2470 creates access to medical marijuana products in liquid or pill form or in a form that can be vaporized. Patients may not cultivate their own cannabis and may only obtain their products from a state licensed medical cannabis manufacturer.  Patients must register with DOH in order to be able to purchase medical cannabis products and have legal protections for their possession and use.

Eligible conditions

  1. cancer, if the underlying condition or treatment produces one or more of the following: (i) severe or chronic pain; (ii) nausea or severe vomiting; oo (iii) cachexia or severe wasting;
  2. glaucoma;
  3. human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
  4. Tourette's syndrome;
  5. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  6. seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
  7. severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis;
  8. Crohn's disease;
  9. terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of under one year, if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following:
    1. severe or chronic pain;
    2. nausea or severe vomiting; or
    3. cachexia or severe wasting; or
  10. any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the commissioner

Additionally, intractable pain officially became a qualifying condition in July 2016.

Application process

The Minnesota Dept. of Health has developed a 5-step patient application process.

1. Contact Health Care Practitioner

Start the process by contacting your health care practitioner who has responsibility for your care connected to your qualifying condition.

  • Qualifying Condition for Medical Cannabis You must have one of these conditions, and be a Minnesota resident, in order to be certified for medical cannabis.
  • Health Care Practitioners for Medical Cannabis Check to be sure that your health care practitioner is able to certify you for the program.
  • Give your practitioner an email address appropriate for medical cannabis communications. You may not want to choose an email that others can access or that belongs to your employer. Please fill, sign and bring the Patient E-mail and Acknowledgement Form (PDF: 94KB/2 pages) to your health care practitioner.
  • Request a Visit Summary, with all your current medications and medical conditions. This will be helpful for the pharmacist at the cannabis patient center.

2. Wait for Health Care Practitioner Certification

When your practitioner has certified that you have a qualifying condition, you will receive an email (using the address you gave your provider) from the Office of Medical Cannabis.

The email will contain the link you need in order to register online and an important information sheet you should review before completing registration.

3. Register Online

  • In order to register, you will need:
    • Link in the email from the Office of Medical Cannabis.
    • Your name, address and phone number.
    • Government-issued ID: state ID, driver's license, or passport (scan or photo from phone).
    • Government assistance plan ID: SSI, Social Security Disability, Medical Assistance, CHAMPVA or Medicaid ID (scan or photo from phone).
    • Credit card to pay Annual Registration Fee via USBank website.
  • You will receive an email when your account has been approved.
  • You will need to complete the patient self-evaluation report in your account in the registry.
  • Complete the patient self-evaluation report to expedite your visit to the cannabis patient center.

4. Visit Cannabis Patient Center

You, your parent, legal guardian or caregiver must visit the cannabis patient center, where a pharmacist will review your account, and recommend specific dosage and type. Payment will be made at that time, to the cannabis patient center.

5. Fill out Patient Self-evaluation Form

Before returning for more medical cannabis you must login to the registry and fill out the patient self-evaluation form. This must be done each time you need more medical cannabis.

Doctor

A patient's health care practitioner may recommend medical cannabis. Under the law, "health care practitioner" means a Minnesota licensed doctor of medicine, a Minnesota licensed physician assistant acting within the scope of authorized practice, or a Minnesota licensed advanced practice registered nurse who has the primary responsibility for the care and treatment of the qualifying medical condition of a person diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.

Access/Caregivers

Caregivers must be at least 21 years of age and may not have been convicted of a felony drug offense, unless DOH determines that the conviction would not have taken place if the caregiver was enrolled in the medical cannabis program.

Consumption

Only the following forms of medical cannabis are legal under SF 2470:

  1. liquid, including, but not limited to, oil;
  2. pill;
  3. vaporized delivery method with use of liquid or oil but which does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form; or
  4. any other method, excluding smoking, approved by the commissioner

Patients may not possess medicine in a school, corrections facility, daycare facility, or on a school bus. Patients may not vaporize their medicine on any form of public transportation, in any indoor or outdoor publicly accessible location, or where a minor may inhale the vapor.

Age Limits

There are no restrictions on minor patients.

Confidentiality

Minnesota's medical cannabis law contains some of the strongest patient registry confidentiality provisions in the country. The law stipulates that state officials may only access the patient database in order to determine if a patient is complying with the law. The law forbids the database from being accessed for any other purposes and says the information in the database may not be linked to any other list, dataset, or database.

Housing

No landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for the person's status as a patient enrolled in the registry program unless failing to do so would violate federal law or regulations or cause the school or landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

Employment

SF 2470 protects patients from employment discrimination. A patient cannot be terminated or penalized by their employer solely for their status as a registered patient, unless the employer would lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

Insurance

The law is silent on insurance coverage.

Out of State patients

There is no reciprocity for out of state patients under SF 2470.

For More information

Minnesota Dept. of Health Medical Cannabis Program Page

Quick Links

Patient application process

Laws:

SF 2470 (2014)