Patients in the Minnesota medical marijuana program will be able to buy dried Cannabis flowers beginning March 1, the state Department of Health announced on Tuesday, reports the Duluth News Tribune.
The option comes after a bipartisan group in the Minnesota Legislature last year approved the change. Patients have the option to buy dried, smokable marijuana flowers. Supporters of the change argued that existing offerings, including Cannabis oils and other concentrates, were just too expensive.
Patients in the program will be able to schedule appointments with a doctor beginning Tuesday, February 1, so they are eligible to receive the smokable marijuana when it becomes available.
Registered patients or caregivers in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program are eligible to buy the marijuana flowers. But they’ll have to provide proof of identification to purchase them.
Medical marijuana dispensaries in Minnesota will offer various strains of dried Cannabis flowers.
Minnesota Making Medicine More Accessible
Minnesota has had a medical cannabis law since 2014. But it’s one of the nation’s most restrictive. It only allowed cannabis in liquid, oil and pill forms until this change. Gov. Tim Walz, who signed the bill into law, also supports adult-use legalization.
“This is by far the most important change since we originally got this law passed,” said medical marijuana patient Patrick McClellan last May. He uses cannabis to treat a rare form of muscular dystrophy, reported MPR News. But the cost of Cannabis oil has been a barrier, McClellan said.
“What we ended up with is basically a designer drug for the rich,” he said. “This was only for people that could afford it.”
Costs are likely to come down for Minnesota patients with use of dried marijuana flowers. Patients hope that will make the medicine more accessible to all.