The Minnesota medical cannabis program launched in the summer of 2015 with only 9 qualifying conditions, none of which included the one that is typically the largest one in other states, intractable pain. Minnesota’s Department of Health, which oversees the program, added intractable pain in December and allowed health care practitioners to start certifying patients with intractable pain on July 1st, with patients receiving certification eligible to receive medical cannabis beginning August 1st. Just one month later, intractable pain patients represent over 1/3 of the 2460 active patients as of 9/1.
With a highly restrictive program that allows only extracts (no flower) and few qualifying conditions, the program has struggled to attract patients, so the boost from the addition of intractable pain could not have come at a better time. The good news is that the state is considering adding up to nine additional qualifying conditions next year. The program includes two manufactures, Vireo Health and LeafLine Labs, each of which operate four dispensaries and have lost millions in the first year of serving patients.
Read Jennifer Brooks’ “Pain patients are flooding into Minnesota’s medical marijuana program”: http://www.startribune.com/pain-patients-are-flooding-into-minnesota-s-medical-marijuana-program/392377511/