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Law Minnesota

Baron23

Well-Known Member
PTSD Patients Can Now Buy Minnesota’s Medical Pot

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota residents suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can start buying medical marijuana.

Tuesday brought the latest expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program that launched in July 2015. Patients suffering chronic pain that couldn’t be treated with other means were allowed to use the drug starting last summer, a move that added thousands of customers to the state’s pool.

But manufacturers aren’t expecting the same rush of new patients to help offset their heavy financial losses in the first years of legal sales. State data shows just 105 patients with PTSD had started or completed the registration process in the month leading up to legal sales.

Meanwhile, patient advocates are pushing to add even more conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Minnesota medical marijuana users struggle with cost, finding doctors to prescribe

Almost three years after marijuana was legalized for some medical purposes in Minnesota, some providers, patients and patients' loved ones say the program is frustrating, and the medicine, for many, is unaffordable.

"I just think it's so sad why we can't set up a program that someone would find easier than (it is)," said Pat Mullen of Duluth. "They've got to find a way to inform people."

When Mullen's fiancee, the late Linnea Stephan, was fighting brain cancer, they sought a prescription for medical marijuana to counter the nausea caused by chemotherapy, he said. But they couldn't find any oncologist at either Essentia Health or St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth willing to certify her for that condition.

Unable to find a certifying provider in Duluth, the couple turned to a Twin Cities clinic.

"It wouldn't surprise me if there's someone in Duluth, but that's part of the problem is how would I find out?" Mullen asked. "How would I know who it would even be?"

There's no provider directory on the website of the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Medical Cannabis. The department "cannot say" what providers are in the registry, said Dr. Tom Arneson, research manager for the cannabis office.

That came as a surprise to the Health Department's boss when she was asked about it during a visit to Duluth last week. "That's a new one on me, that we don't do that," said Jan Malcolm, who Gov. Mark Dayton appointed as health commissioner in late January.



Different hospitals, different approaches

Patients may find more difficulty obtaining medical marijuana certification at certain hospitals.

At St. Luke's, oncologists are the only practitioners who are on the registry, said Dr. Gary Peterson, the hospital's chief medical officer. That's not to say that an oncologist would necessarily agree to certify a particular patient.

"I would think that each individual cancer patient ... would be evaluated individually as to the appropriateness of medical marijuana," he said. "We wouldn't expect that to be the first-line treatment."

But the decision about whether to certify patients is left up to the practitioners, Peterson said.

Essentia Health takes a more centralized approach. Dr. Jeffrey Lyon, an internist who is on the medical cannabis committee at Essentia, said practitioners are asked to try "evidence-supported treatments" before considering medical marijuana as an option. If the clinician then wants to recommend medical marijuana, he or she first must refer the case to the committee, which then rules on whether the patient can be certified.

An expedited process is allowed for terminally ill patients with "intractable nausea," he said.

Lyon has led the committee since the beginning of the year, and there hasn't been a single request during that time, he said.

Arneson said he senses frustration from prospective patients in the Duluth area.

"We get complaints about not being able to find (a practitioner) to certify a patient from all over the state, don't get me wrong," he said. "But we have received a number from the northeastern part of the state with specific complaints about organizations."

The cost

Income may be a factor in holding down the number of participants from some parts of the state.

"Most people can't afford this program," Arneson said. "That's just the reality of it. So it depends a little bit on the distribution of income, I would say."

The average monthly cost for marijuana patients in Minnesota is $150, Dr. Adam Locketz said.

Locketz is a practitioner for TimeWise Clinic, which operates in Duluth and Lake Elmo, Minn. He has certified close to 2,000 patients for medical marijuana, some referred from larger clinics.

But there are other costs before the patient even gets to the marijuana distribution center, especially in the first year. Locketz said he charges $250 for the first visit to certify a patient, with declining rates after that. The state charges another $200 to place the patient on the registry, and then $50 every succeeding year. A patient must be recertified each year.

The costs and the hurdles have created a problem for the state's medical marijuana program, Lyon said.

"The state has created this system, and they're not seeing the number of people buying their product that they had hoped for," he said.

Nonetheless, state data shows growth in the patient registry every month since the program started accepting patients in June 2015. The curve became steeper starting in August 2016, when intractable pain became a condition for which marijuana could be prescribed.

As of March 31, 9,435 patients were enrolled and in active status in the registry, the Office of Medical Cannabis reported. That was up from 5,119 a year earlier.

Nearly two out of three Minnesota patients who received medical marijuana are certified for intractable pain.

Those patients may be able to break their dependence on opioids, Locketz said.

"Daily I'm seeing patients back who, over a period of years, have been able to use this to come off of fentanyl patches or oxycodone," he said.

But while data coming from states with legalized medical marijuana shows a trend toward lower opioid use, Lyon said there's still a lack of quality clinical research in the field.

"Maybe medical marijuana will be a significant tool in decreasing opioid abuse," he said. "We just don't know."

Qualifying conditions

Conditions for which Minnesota residents may be eligible to receive medical marijuana:

• 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

• Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

• Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease

• Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year

• Intractable pain

• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Two conditions will be added this year. Patients can enroll beginning July 1 and pick up medication beginning Aug. 1:

• Autism

• Obstructive sleep apnea
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member



APNewsBreak: Top executive out at medical marijuana company


ST. PAUL, Minn. — The chief executive of one of Minnesota’s two medical marijuana manufacturers has left the company after years of financial losses.

Andrew Bachman, LeafLine Labs’ co-founder and its chief executive since 2016, is no longer with the company “in any official capacity,” the company said in a Thursday statement to The Associated Press. The company’s entire 5-member board has also been replaced.

The statement didn’t give a reason for Bachman’s exit, and a company official didn’t respond to questions about his departure. Bachman didn’t respond to a voicemail or text message seeking comment.

But LeafLine has struggled since medical marijuana sales began in 2015 in Minnesota. The Cottage Grove-based company lost $6.9 million in its first two financial years, and documents provided by state regulators to The AP showed LeafLine lost another $5.3 million in 2017.

Two top executives left LeafLine last year and it temporarily scaled back its operations in November during a supply shortage that Bachman blamed on lab testing delays.

LeafLine was founded and backed by several family members of the popular Minnesota nursery Bachman’s Floral Garden and Gift Centers, though it’s unclear if any family members are still involved at the company after Bachman’s exit. LeafLine was one of two manufacturers selected to grow and cultivate medical marijuana in 2014, the year Minnesota’s Legislature passed its law.

Minnesota’s program is among the most restrictive of 30 states that allow medical marijuana. Using the plant form is banned, and the state limits the availability of marijuana pills and oils to patients with 10 severe conditions. Each manufacturer is required to perform several rounds of testing on their medication and must run four dispensaries across the state.

Those restrictions have made business difficult for both of the state’s manufacturers. An audit last year showed the two companies, LeafLine and Minnesota Medical Solutions, had lost a combined $11 million in just two years of legal sales. But while Minnesota Medical Solutions has been trending in the right direction — it turned a small profit in 2017 — LeafLine has lost more money each year it’s been in business.

After losing $4.7 million in 2016, a financial audit shows the company lost another $5.3 million in 2017. All told, LeafLine has lost more than $12 million in its three years of operations.

The company also struggled late last year with supply, turning away some patients and temporarily closing a storefront in Eagan due to what Bachman said was a delay in the state-mandated, third-party testing of its medication.

This isn’t LeafLine’s first brush with turnover. Bachman was the company’s fourth chief executive since the company formed in 2014. He took over after Manny Munson-Regala, previously a top state regulator of the medical marijuana industry, left the company in 2016 after just eight months on the job.

Last fall, the company’s chief medical officer and chief financial officer resigned, with Bachman citing “personal and professional reasons.”
 

MinnBobber

Well-Known Member
I'm very active in trying to add new medical conditions in MN, but our program is sooo bad that it is really hard to fix.
There are only two vendors and each has their own territory, so functionally it is two monopolies :(
Their pricing is extreme, the last time I checked their tincture/oil was $208 for 1000 mg of actives :drooling:
In some parts of the state, patients have to go 100 miles to get their medicine.

We cannot do a voter referendum as only the State Legislature can change the mmj law or bring in full legal adult cannabis.
The House recently voted to allow sale of flowers, but the Senate is a tough sell on that. And even if that passed, I'm guessing we are talking $400 OZs????

That's the latest from MN
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Judge Says Police Seizure Of 900 Pounds Of Marijuana Was Illegal

Minnesota judge throws out case after ruling that cops conducted an unconstitutional search.

Months after two men were arrested for trying to transport large amounts of cannabis through Minnesota, a judge has set them free and dismissed the original charges.

At issue in the case was whether or not the search of the vehicle that initially led cops to discover the weed was legal. And on Tuesday, the judge hearing the case ruled that the cops’ search was unconstitutional.

Marijuana Bust in March
The whole thing started back in March of this year. That’s when state trooper Aaron Myren pulled over two men from Montana who were driving through Minnesota.

The men traveling inside the truck were identified as 31-year-old Jared Michael Desroches and 24-year-old Alexander Clifford Gordon.


According to Myren, he became suspicious because the two men were towing a camper trailer behind their truck. Myren claimed that it is unusual to see a camper during that time of the year. Additionally, Myren also claimed that the vehicle was swerving and driving unsteadily.

Finally, Myren decided to pull over the vehicle when he noticed a large crack in the windshield.

After Myren pulled them over, the two men reportedly said they had some marijuana in the vehicle with them. At that point, Myren and the police dog he had with him apparently began searching the vehicle and the trailer.


That’s when they discovered that the trailer was filled with weed. Specifically, the trailer contained 900 pounds of weed, 406 one-gram containers of concentrates, 112 containers of wax, and at least $15,000 in cash.

Myren arrested the men and seized the weed. The two men were initially charged with two counts of first-degree controlled substances sale.

Judge Rules Vehicle Search Was Unconstitutional
Now, months later, District Judge Timothy Churchwell has dismissed the charges.


He ruled that the vehicle search conducted by Myren was unconstitutional. As a result, it was illegal for cops to seize the marijuana, and without that, there is no evidence to bring against Desroches and Gordon.

Judge Churchwell explained that it was allowable for Myren to pull over the vehicle because of the cracked windshield. But beyond that, the judge said, Myren had no probable cause to conduct any searches of the men’s truck or camper trailer.

Interestingly, local media reported that Myren’s dashcam footage played a key role in the judge’s decision. Specifically, the footage threw much of Myren’s testimony into question.

For example, Myren claimed that it is unusual for campers to be on the road in March. However, footage from the incident showed a number of other camper trailers driving on the same road.

Similarly, Myren said that the men were driving erratically. But the footage showed that the men were driving just fine.

“The video played a huge role in us getting it tossed out because a lot of it didn’t match up to what [Myren] was saying,” the defendants’ lawyer Paul Applebaum told local media.

And as for the claim that the men were driving erratically, Applebaum explained: “The squad video, which essentially records from the same vantage point as Myren’s, shows that the pickup never crossed the fog-line—it merely touched it once for a fraction of a second and proceeded flawlessly for a substantial distance before Myren pulled it over.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
That’s when they discovered that the trailer was filled with weed. Specifically, the trailer contained 900 pounds of weed, 406 one-gram containers of concentrates, 112 containers of wax, and at least $15,000 in cash.


Dang....and that was my stash for the next 6 months!! hahaha
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Cannabis Legalization Bill

State lawmakers in Minnesota introduced a bill this week that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults and establish a legal marijuana industry in the state. The bill, HF 4632, was introduced by House of Representatives Majority Leader Ryan Winkler on Tuesday with the support of 33 cosponsors.

Winkler, a Democrat, said in February that he and his colleagues in the House were working on what he said would be “the best legalization bill in the country to date.” He added that the lawmakers working on the bill would learn from the mistakes of the 11 other states that have already legalized marijuana.

Soon after, however, attention shifted from pending legislative priorities to dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe. But with restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus now beginning to be relaxed, Winkler believes it’s time to renew the push to legalize cannabis.

“We made a commitment to introduce legislation this session, and we wanted to follow through on that commitment,” he said in a statement. “Our current priority is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, but after the town halls and discussions around this issue, we still wanted to put a strong bill forward. As we look to come out of this crisis as a better, stronger Minnesota, we need to continue working toward legalizing cannabis for responsible adult use.”

If passed, Winkler’s bill would legalize the use and possession of cannabis by adults. Up to 1.5 ounces of pot could be legally carried on one’s person and up to ten pounds of marijuana could be kept at home. Growing up to eight cannabis plants, four of which may be flowering, would also be legalized.

The bill also provides a regulatory framework for a commercial cannabis industry to be established in Minnesota. Labeling, packaging, and testing requirements would be implemented for cannabis products and dosage sizes would be restricted, among other regulations.

Social Equity Measures Written Into Bill
Several social equity provisions are also written into the bill, including the establishment of an Office of Social Equity that would distribute grants to promote economic opportunity and community stability. The measure also prioritizes social equity applicants for business licenses in the new cannabis industry. HF 4632 provides for the expungement of most cannabis convictions, as well.

The bill was crafted after months of public discussions and research that included an analysis of the successes and challenges of cannabis legalization in other states. Unlike other states, the legislation does not include provisions that allow local jurisdictions to ban cannabis businesses, a power that has been used to thwart the growth of the legal cannabis industry in California.

“Minnesotans have been loud and clear that our current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good,” Winkler said. “By creating a regulatory framework, we can address the harms caused by cannabis and establish a more sensible set of laws to improve our health care and criminal justice systems and ensure better outcomes for communities.”

Last year, a bipartisan bill to legalize cannabis was introduced in Minnesota but failed to survive a vote by a state Senate committee. When Winkler first announced the new bill’s imminent introduction in February, he acknowledged it would be a long road to legalization subject to amendments and compromise and it is “highly likely that it will take more than one year to get it done.”
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
With all these states having such a difficult time with their state budgets, making cannabis legal would be a great way to pay the bills. Coronavirus have devastated most city and state budgets.
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
Minnesota’s White Earth Nation Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Because they are a sovereign nation, the tribe will determine their own cannabis laws, independent from the state of Minnesota.



Minnesota’s White Earth Nation voted last Tuesday to fully legalize medical cannabis on the reservation. Now, all growing, regulating, and distribution will be allowed within the borders of the tribe as soon as they are able to get their distribution up and running.
The vote was approved at a nine-out-of-10 ratio, following in the footsteps of the Red Lake Nation, a Minnesota tribe who have already legalized medical cannabis back in May. Now, a medical cannabis program can begin on the reservation, paving the way for a strong entrepreneurial future and access to needed medicine.
“It’s exciting,” White Earth Chairman Michael Fairbanks said. “The membership has spoken and it’s overwhelming.”
Indigenous Communities And Cannabis
Minnesota tribes are able to get into the cannabis industry ahead of their entire state as members of the Indigenous community, since they govern their own nations. Governor Tim Walz has expressed support of medical and recreational cannabis and a desire to legalize more in coming years, but right now, the tribes will have much looser restrictions than the state as a whole, as Minnesota still does not allow medical cannabis to be smoked or ingested. Only pills, powders, and lotions are medically legal in the state currently, and the state is very restrictive about what they prescribe and why.

Luckily, White Earth Nation will not have to jump through these hoops. This is because as sovereign nations, the tribes don’t have to follow state laws on medical cannabis. This also means they can expand beyond the two distribution companies currently allowed in Minnesota, Leafline Labs and Minnesota medical Solutions. And, it gives the tribes more control over what people can be prescribed cannabis for. White Earth will have control over who produces the cannabis and who is eligible to use it for medicine, as well as how they choose to regulate and operate the inner workings of their industry.
“Minnesota is getting really close to having recreational marijuana, so it’s good to get our foot out there and mark our spot,” Fairbanks said.
While it’s too soon to tell when the medical cannabis program will be up and running, farmers on the White Earth reservation already grow hemp, so the switch should be somewhat seamless for those looking to branch into a new cash crop. However, they still need to work out all the details of the new program, who will be able to grow, and what it will allow.
This will also give the tribe a head start if cannabis finally gets legalized in Minnesota. While the state has seen a lot of legal cannabis support from Minnesota voters, and Walz has expressed that he would legalize recreational cannabis if he gets a bill on his desk, many fear the Republican-held Senate would never pass such a bill.
While cannabis is still illegal federally, and legal medical cannabis is still slowly coming to the tribes of the state, there is no doubt that White Earth Nation and Red Lake Nation will have a leg up on the competition when full legalization finally takes hold.
 

MinnBobber

Well-Known Member
Good for them. I wonder if they will/can allow visitors to buy? Or visitors with a medical card elsewhere = reciprocity??
.............
Our MN medical program is very restrictive and very expensive and very bureaucratic.

There is just a one month window each year to petition to add new conditions.
The Health Dept screens which submissions even go to a committee which recommends approval or rejection.

Since several “Cannabis for COVID “ studies are happening worldwide, I petitioned to add COVID. One concluded study even showed cannabis stopped the deadly lung Cytokine storm and reversed lung damage in mice!

Rejected, to not even get a chance with the committee review. WTF??

Cannabis could help stop the next 1700 COVdeaths in MN but noooo

Since our Health Dept acts as a super gatekeeper, it’s another reason we need full adult legal here.

Very disappointing but not a surprise.
 
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