Cost of medical marijuana in Minnesota leads some to return to illegal sources

Just two months after Minnesota launched its medical marijuana programme, some patients turned off by high costs say they are back to buying the drug illegally – because it’s the only way they can afford it.

State officials and the companies hired to make marijuana products trumpeted the programme’s medical approach of pills and oils and no leaf products when it launched in July. But some patients say the highly restricted and regulated system is costing them hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month, none of it covered by insurance.

Company executives defend their prices: a small vial of marijuana extract can run nearly $130 in Minnesota, more than double the cost of a similar product in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal and such companies have sold it medically for more than a decade and say costs will fall over time.

They are also taking steps to help...

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