How to get a medical marijuana card in Minnesota

What is an MMJ Card in Minnesota?

By Minnesota marijuana laws, persons enrolled in the Department of Health's Medical Cannabis Registry are permitted to purchase, possess, and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. This registry program performs the function that Medical Marijuana Cards perform in other medical marijuana states that adopt such arrangements. Notwithstanding that the Federal Controlled Substances Act still prohibits all forms of cannabis, including medical marijuana, the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act enacted in 2014 and amended in 2020 legalizes the use of medical marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.

There are currently 36,069 active patients with approved enrollment in the Minnesota Cannabis Registry.

Who Can Apply for an MMJ Card in Minnesota?

To apply for enrollment in the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Registry, interested individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • They must have been diagnosed with at least one qualifying medical condition
  • They must be a Minnesota resident with valid proof of residency.

Note that a person can be prevented from partaking in the registry program if:

  • The person was previously removed from the registry program for violating state laws
  • The person violated a state or federal controlled substance law that is a felony under Minnesota law

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota?

Minors below the age of 18 can be enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry since the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act did not keep an age limit for the Medical Cannabis Registry. However, for a person to be designated as a caregiver, Minnesota weed laws require such a person to be over 18 years old.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Minnesota?

Below are the medical conditions that qualify a patient to apply for medical marijuana registration as provided by the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act:

  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Acute and consistent muscle spasms, including those relating to multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease
  • Terminal disease, with a life expectancy not exceeding one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Autism
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder

To be eligible for enrolment in the Medical Cannabis Registry, diagnosis of any of these conditions must be certified by a state-endorsed physician or health care practitioner.

How Do I Apply for an MMJ Card in Minnesota?

Persons interested in enrolling in the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Registry are required to go through the following application process:

  • Schedule an appointment with a licensed physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse to certify that the applicant has a qualifying condition.
  • Print out and complete the Patient Email and Acknowledgement Form. The form requires applicants to include the email address they would like to receive private messages about their health.
  • Forward the completed Patient Email and Acknowledgement Form to a health care practitioner the applicant is to consult. In addition, patients must request their physician to provide an appointment summary, including a list of their current medication. After meeting with the health care practitioner, the patient will then receive an email from the Medical Cannabis Registry containing a confirmation of the patient's condition by the health care practitioner and a unique registration link.
  • Register online using the unique registration link certification received in the email. For this registration, an applicant will need a government-issued I.D. and a device to capture images of the I.D.
  • Pay the registration fee of $200 to the Minnesota Department of Health via U.S. Bank. Note that certain persons are entitled to a reduced registration fee of $50. To apply for this discount, the applicant is required to provide evidence of Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, medical assistance, MinnesotaCare, IHS, Railroad disability, VA dependency and indemnity compensation, or Veteran's disability benefits to the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Log into the registry account and complete the patient self-evaluation report.

Upon the completion of this process, patients may visit a Cannabis Patient Center near them, where a pharmacist will review their account and recommend a specific dose and type of medical marijuana.

How Does a Primary Caregiver Get a Minnesota MMIC?

Minnesota medical marijuana program permits the registration of caregivers to assist qualifying patients in purchasing and administering medical marijuana. Patients can have more than one caregiver if required. To become a registered caregiver in Minnesota, such an individual must be at least 18 years of age and must have been added to the registry account by a patient.

When a patient adds a caregiver to their Registry account, the caregiver will receive an email invitation to set up their own account in the Registry. Such caregivers will have to provide: name, address, date of birth, phone number, and a government-issued I.D., state I.D. card, driver's license or passport.

In addition, caregivers will also need to complete a criminal background check through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). To do so, they should fill out the Designated Caregiver Background Check Informed Consent Form, make a check payment of $15 payable to the BCA, and include an empty envelope with a postage stamp addressed to:

Office of Medical Cannabis

P.O. Box 64882

St. Paul, MN 55164-0882

Applicants should mail the documents mentioned above to:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

CHA Unit

1430 Maryland Avenue East

St. Paul, MN 55106

The caregiver will get an email notification once their account has been approved and can assist their patient in obtaining and administering medical cannabis.

While parents, legal guardians, and spouses do not need to conduct background checks to be caregivers, they also have peculiar procedures. Parents and legal guardians would have to upload a copy of a birth or adoption certificate or other legal guardian documentation. Likewise, a spouse will have to provide a valid wedding certificate with the patient.

How Long Does it Take To Get a Minnesota MMIC?

The processing time for an application for enrollment in Minnesota Medical Marijuana usually takes up to 30 days. However, this timeline may be longer depending on the accuracy of the application. The Department of Health will usually return incomplete and erroneous applications for corrections, thereby extending the processing time of those applications.

Getting a Minnesota Medical Marijuana Card Online

The Minnesota Cannabis Registry adopts an online enrollment process. Under this arrangement, applicants are required to use the special registration link sent in their email from the Office of Medical Cannabis to upload their personal information and scanned copy of their government-issued I.D. Applicants can make a credit card payment of $200 via the USBank website.

Persons whose applications are approved would then have to wrap up the process by completing the patient self-evaluation report in their registry account.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Minnesota?

The standard cost for enrollment in Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry is $200. However, applicants can apply for a discounted fee of $50. To do so, such applicant would have to provide evidence of any of the following:

  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Social Security Disability
  • Medical assistance
  • MinnesotaCare
  • Railroad disability
  • VA dependency and indemnity compensation
  • Veteran's disability benefits.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Minnesota?

Enrolling on the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry will require applicants to provide the following documents:

  • Valid government-issued I.D., which can be either passport, driver's license, or voter's registration.
  • Proof of residency including utility bill, bank statement, mortgage, or rental agreement
  • A signed Patient Email and Acknowledgement Form

Are My Details Kept Confidential When I Apply For a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota?

In consonance with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA), the Minnesota Department of Health keeps information on the Medical Cannabis Registry confidential. The HIPAA protects patient's personal information against non-consensual dissemination by health care practitioners.

What Information appears on a Minnesota Medical Marijuana Card?

Minnesota does not issue medical cannabis cards. It instead maintains a Medical Cannabis Registry for medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.

Can Someone Track Me Down Through the Minnesota Registry?

Information contained in Minnesota medical records are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Therefore, no one can easily get personal information from a medical registry and locate persons with it.

Minnesota Marijuana MMJ Card