Minnesota

Thu
06
Feb

Minnesota Lawmakers Gear Up Again For Cannabis Legalization

It might take awhile for Minnesota to pass its cannabis legalization proposal, but when it does it should be a good one. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler has promised “the best legalization bill in the country to date,” and says that its architects are learning from the successes and missteps of the 11 states that have legalized marijuana thus far. 

The state’s politicians have once again announced their intent to pass cannabis regulation, and are forecasting the introduction of the bill among the first days of the legislative session, which opens next week. 

Thu
23
Jan

Minnesota among states struggling with medical marijuana oversight

The Minnesota Health Department says it's taking steps to improve oversight of the state's medical marijuana program.

That's after an audit found multiple failures.

The Office of the Legislative Auditor issued a report this month saying, among other things, the health department had poor record-keeping for parent and guardian eligibility. It also said regulators didn't verify all new patients' doctors were licensed and in good standing.

Thu
16
Jan

Will the Minnesota Legislature take up recreational marijuana in 2020?

After announcing at the Minnesota State Fair that DFL lawmakers would launch a series of conversations on cannabis, the Democratic leaders of the Minnesota House appear to be ending up pretty much where they expected to be a month before the start of the 2020 session of the state Legislature.

DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said that legislation is being drafted to add Minnesota to the list of states that have legalized, taxed and regulated the recreational use of marijuana. Yet Winkler, from Golden Valley, stopped short of predicting that a legalization bill would come to a vote on the House floor.

Mon
09
Dec

New year, big changes for struggling Minnesota medical marijuana program

The state of Minnesota is about to give Sam Poquette back two hours of his day.

For months, Poquette has been making the long round trip from his home in New Ulm to a clinic in Bloomington to fill his cannabis prescription.

This summer, medical cannabis is coming to him.

Big changes are coming to Minnesota, home to the most restrictive medical marijuana program in the nation.

Fri
06
Dec

Minnesota OKs Medical Cannabis For Chronic Pain, Eye Disease

Minnesota is expanding the state’s medical marijuana program to include chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration as conditions that can qualify for treatment, state health officials said Monday.

The state Department of Health also said it would allow more sites where patients can access medical cannabis. The changes take effect in August, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Minnesota’s medical marijuana program began in 2014. Originally, only nine conditions were on the list, but now it covers such conditions as obstructive sleep apnea, post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer.

Wed
04
Dec

Minnesota Expands Medical Marijuana Program With More Qualifying Conditions

Minnesota is expanding the state’s medical marijuana program to include chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration as conditions that can qualify for treatment, state health officials said Monday.

The state Department of Health also said it would allow more sites where patients can access medical cannabis. The changes take effect in August, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Mon
11
Nov

5 years of legal marijuana could bring Minnesota $300M in revenue, expert says

Five years of legal recreational marijuana in Minnesota could generate $1.12 billion in sales, $300 million in tax revenue and 20,000 jobs, an industry expert estimates.

MinnPost reports the analysis came from Sal Barnes of the Marijuana Policy Group, who spoke at the CannConMN Symposium, a conference on the impacts of cannabis legalization.

Barnes told the conference that as Minnesota moves toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use, leaders must be careful with the number of licenses they issue. He said Colorado has an effective number of licenses because it makes for a competitive market that isn’t so expensive it drives people to buy cannabis illegally.

Fri
01
Nov

Vaping illnesses pose problems for marijuana legalization efforts in Minnesota

Says J. Patrick Coolican for the Star Tribune, “Opponents of legalizing marijuana in Minnesota are seizing on the recent outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and teen nicotine addiction to urge caution on the cannabis front — even as advocates of legalization ramp up their campaign ahead of next year’s legislative session. ‘I hope this slows down the rush by [Gov. Tim Walz] and House Democrats on recreational marijuana,’ said state Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, the majority leader. ‘If they see the correlation, that might at least slow down the process’”

Thu
29
Aug

Minnesota Governor directs State Agencies to prepare for cannabis legalization

The governor of Minnesota has ordered state agencies to ready themselves for the advent of cannabis legalization — but many lawmakers think such a marijuana bill is unlikely to pass this year.

“My agencies have been tasked to put all of the building blocks in place, from Revenue to the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health,” said Governor Tim Walz. “We will have everything ready to go, and we will be able to implement it in Minnesota the minute the Legislature moves this.”

Tue
23
Jul

Medical cannabis benefiting Minnesota PTSD patients

A recent survey by the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Medical Cannabis indicates more than three-quarters of patients using medical cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have experienced significant benefits.

The survey of 751 PTSD patients found 76% of those who responded indicated a benefit rating of 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 7 – so that’s pretty impressive. Only 4% gave a rating of 1, 2 or 3. The most important benefits noted were anxiety reduction (23%), improved sleep (16%), improved mood and/or emotional regulation (13%) and reduction in pain (12%).

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