News release: Minnesota Health Department's Office of Medical Cannabis hires research manager

News Release
October 2, 2014

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Minnesota Health Department's Office of Medical Cannabis hires research manager

Dr. Thomas Arneson will provide medical, research leadership and expertise for new program

The Minnesota Department of Health today announced the hiring of Dr. Thomas Arneson as the research manager of the department's Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC). In this role, Dr. Arneson will manage the state's medical cannabis patient registry and the program's ongoing research efforts, and will serve as the department's expert about the risks and benefits of medical cannabis. He will begin work on October 6.

Dr. Arneson grew up in Fairmont, and has a bachelor's degree from Harvard, a master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, and an M.D. from Mayo Medical School. He has spent his professional life in Minnesota focusing on health care quality improvement and population health research. His work record includes being a researcher at the Minneapolis Department of Health, director of population health at Stratis Health and the medical director for industry-sponsored research at the Chronic Disease Research Group.

Dr. Arneson will be responsible for implementing an important component of Minnesota's medical cannabis program - the activities focused on generating reliable information about the best use and medical value of medical cannabis. The program strives to answer questions related to dosage, side effects, delivery methods, compound interactions, and other considerations specific to various diseases and conditions. The program also seeks to generate information about possible long-term health effects and societal impacts of cannabis use.

"We are excited to have someone with Dr. Arneson's background stepping up to help Minnesota shed more light on the complicated medical and public health questions surrounding medical cannabis," Commissioner Ehlinger said. "We are also looking forward to him serving as a community liaison, sharing key medical and research information with patients, provider groups, law enforcement, and the academic community."

-MDH-


Media inquiries:

Michael Schommer
MDH Communications
651-201-4998