Minnesota Legal Information
In 2014, the Minnesota legislature passed SF 2470, which provides legal protections for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions who obtain a physician’s recommendation for the use of medical cannabis products. Minnesota law does not provide legal access to cannabis in its most commonly used form, dried flowers. Patients may only legally obtain and use medical cannabis products which may be vaporized or consumed by a means other than smoking, such as oils, pills, or liquids. The law does not impose concentration requirements for THC or CBD. The law contains some of the strongest privacy protections for patients, though the state seeks to collect medical data from physicians on the patients for whom they recommend medical cannabis. In July 2016, intractable pain was officially added as a qualifying condition.
In This Section
In 2014, the Minnesota legislature passed SF 2470, which provides legal protections for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions who obtain a physician’s recommendation for the use of medical cannabis products. Minnesota law does not provide legal access to cannabis in its most commonly used form, dried flowers.
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.
The ability to recommend medical cannabis in Minnesota rest with "health care practitioners," who are defined as doctor, physician's assistant, or advanced practicing nurse who is licensed to practice in the state. The recommending health care practitioner must have primary responsibility for the care and treatment of the qualifying medical condition that the patient is being recommending medical cannabis to treat.
Caregivers seeking to assist patients in Minnesota must apply at the time that the patient submits their registration application to DOH. Caregivers must be at least 21 years of age and may not have a disqualifying felony conviction for violation of the state or federal controlled substances act. The law authorizes DOH to license and regulate medical cannabis manufacturers (MCM), which cultivate, process, and sell medical cannabis products to patients.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.