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Yes, Minnesota allows patients to use medical marijuana to treat certain debilitating conditions. Governor Mark Dayton decriminalized medical marijuana in 2014 when he signed the Minnesota Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act (MCTRA) into law. The MCTRA gave legal backing to the creation of the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patient Registry, the state's medical marijuana program. According to the law, it is the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)'s responsibility to supervise the program. Consequently, the MDH set up a bureau, the Office of Medical Cannabis, for this purpose. The state began accepting applications from prospective patients in June 2015, while actual medical cannabis distribution commenced about a month later.
At the time of legalization, Minnesota's medical marijuana laws were one of the strictest in the country. The state only allowed patients to use medical marijuana to alleviate nine debilitating conditions. Furthermore, Minnesota did not approve the use of medical cannabis in its smokable dried raw form initially. Subsection 6, Section 152.22 of the MCTRA only permitted patients to prepare, deliver, or use medical marijuana in these forms:
However, the MDH has since added more illnesses to the list of qualifying conditions. For example, the MDH announced the inclusion of two debilitating conditions, sickle cell disease and chronic vocal or motor disorder, in December 2020. In addition, the latest amendment to Minnesota Statutes 152.22 Subsection 6 now permits patients to use combustible dried raw cannabis from March 1, 2022.
Get certified for a qualifying medical condition by a Minnesota-licensed physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician in the Medical Cannabis Registry via telemedicine
During the medical evaluation, the patient should give their email address to the certifying healthcare practitioner
Once the healthcare practitioner certifies the patient's condition, the Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) will send the patient an email containing the patient's unique registration link for the Medical Cannabis Registry and a confirmation of certification
Open the link sent in the email to enroll. The patient's government-issued ID (digital format) is required during registration
Once the OMC approves the patient's enrollment, the patient will be able to access their Medical Cannabis Registry account where they can print a registry verification document if they want proof of registration. Afterward, they can legally purchase medical cannabis from any licensed medical cannabis dispensary near them
Minnesota permits individuals aged 18 or older to enroll in the state's medical marijuana program. These individuals must be residents of Minnesota diagnosed with any of the approved qualifying conditions. Currently, the qualifying medical conditions are:
A medical cannabis patient can enroll in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program online through the link sent to their email address by the OMC after getting certified by a licensed healthcare practitioner. The state does not have a medical marijuana card system.
A person must be a resident of Minnesota to participate in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program.
Patients enrolled in Minnesota's medical marijuana program must pay a $200 annual registration fee. However, individuals receiving government-assisted funds can pay the reduced registration fee of $50. The eligible government funds include:
Every applicant receiving funds from these government benefits must upload documents to back up such claims. The MDH allows applicants to pay their registration fees online via credit/debit cards or US bank checks.
You need to schedule an appointment with the closest licensed medical cannabis dispensary (dispensaries) before you can purchase medical cannabis. On the scheduled day, take these documents with you:
You must see a doctor before participating in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patient Registry. Subdivision 9, Section 152.22 of the state's statutes defines a qualifying patient as a Minnesota resident diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a healthcare practitioner. In addition, Subdivision 4 of the same section defines a healthcare practitioner as a Minnesota-licensed doctor, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse. One of these three healthcare professionals must diagnose you with a qualifying condition before you can enroll in the state's medical marijuana program. The state does not maintain a list of the healthcare professionals participating in the program.
Minors under the age of 18 can also participate in Minnesota's medical marijuana program. However, their parents or legal guardians must file applications on their behalf and act as their primary caregivers.
Yes. When they turn 18, minors can apply for their medical marijuana card in Minnesota without designating caregivers or requiring the consent of their parents or legal guardians. The process for applying for a Minnesota medical marijuana card as an adult is the same as described above.
You must renew your status as a Minnesota medical marijuana program patient annually as each approved application is only valid for a year. The process of renewing your registration as a Minnesota medical marijuana program patient is similar to becoming a new patient. Your healthcare practitioner must recertify you before you can re-enroll. Once you get recertified, you will receive an email from the MDH with a link to your medical cannabis registry account. Subsequently, log into your account and complete the re-enrolment application by providing the required information and uploading the necessary documents. Afterward, pay for the registration fee online via your debit/credit cards or through a US bank check.
Minnesota medical marijuana registration costs $200, but individuals on government-assisted funds pay $50. The MDH directs every patient to renew their medical marijuana registration before their given annual expiration date. Patients who do not renew their registrations before the expiry dates do not get accepted back into the program.
No, you cannot grow medical marijuana at home in Minnesota. Qualifying patients and caregivers must purchase medical cannabis from state-licensed manufacturers.
While Minnesota does not issue medical marijuana cards, qualifying medical marijuana patients participating in the state's medical cannabis program enjoy certain benefits over recreational marijuana consumers. For instance, recreational weed became legal on August 1, 2023, and the state is still working out a licensing system for adult-use cannabis businesses. Recreational weed dispensaries may not open until early 2025, and adults 21 years and older may be unable to purchase recreational marijuana, except those in jurisdictions with tribal governments, where they are not required to wait for the state's licensing system. On the other hand, patients enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Program can continue to purchase medical cannabis products legally at state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
Yes, Minnesota permits adults aged 18 and older to have designated caregivers. Also, minors cannot participate in Minnesota's medicinal cannabis program without the approval of their parents or legal guardians, who are also usually their primary caregivers. Designated caregivers help patients with the purchasing and administering of medical cannabis. Subdivision 11, Section 152.22 of the Minnesota Statutes outlines the necessary criteria required for prospective caregivers to meet. These are:
Minnesota has no medical marijuana reciprocity laws and, as such, does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states.
Yes. In Minnesota, under the Health Records Act, all information collected on medical cannabis patients and reported to the patient registry are health records and are considered private data. However, such information may be disclosed in a non-identifiable form for scientific purposes. Likewise, cannabis patients' medical marijuana records are protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure cannabis patients' privacy. Under this Act, except for a select few, no other entities will be able to access patients' medical cannabis records. In certain situations, medical marijuana records may be disclosed to employers under the HIPAA Privacy Rules. Also, law enforcement agencies may be able to access them for legal purposes.
No, insurance does not cover medical cannabis in Minnesota.
Patients enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program can purchase up to a 30-day supply of non-inhalable cannabis and up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana flowers within 14 days.
Yes. Minnesota does not have a medical marijuana card system.