In 2014, Minnesota Governor Dayton signed the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act (SF 2470) into law, which provides legal protections for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions who obtain a physician's recommendation for the use of medical cannabis products. The law authorizes a regulatory program to oversee the distribution and manufacturing of permitted cannabis products, which may use liquid, pill or vaporized delivery methods, however the smoking of cannabis is prohibited. SF 2470 imposes no concentration limits on THC or CBD for these products, which offers maximum flexibility in designing medical cannabis treatments that can be tailored to treat a wide range of patient health conditions. Patient protections are strong in the 2014 law, though it does permit state collection of patient medical data for those patients who are recommended medical cannabis. With respect to patient access, the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act allowed for eight dispensaries to be operated by private companies. Two companies are currently licensed to operate cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail facilities under the law.
In 2016, the state added intractable pain and PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions eligible for patient enrollment in the state system via HF 3142. This legislation also improved transportation laws for testing and disposal, and allowed pharmacists to video-conference with patients. In 2018, the Department of Health added sleep apnea, autism and Alzheimer’s to the list of qualifying conditions. The Minnesota Department of Corrections also moved to allow people on supervised release to use medical cannabis.
In 2019, the state expanded the number of legal medical retail facilities from 8 to 16. The Minnesota Department of Health also added chronic pain and macular degeneration to the list of conditions eligible for medical cannabis treatment. In 2020, under the state’s COVID emergency plans, Minnesota authorized medical cannabis businesses to continue operating, extended patient access through curbside pickup and home delivery, permitted telemedicine for physician evaluations, and extended existing enrollments.
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