News release: MDH Office of Medical Cannabis to hold community sessions around state

News Release
August 21, 2015

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MDH Office of Medical Cannabis to hold community sessions around state

Opportunity to learn about program, weigh in on adding intractable pain to qualifying conditions list

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Office of Medical Cannabis will hold a series of community sessions around the state this fall offering members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the state’s medical cannabis program. Participants also will have the opportunity to provide input on the question of adding intractable pain to the list of medical conditions that qualify people to participate in the program.

The first meeting will be in Olmsted County on Wednesday, August 26, at 5:30 p.m. at the Rochester Public Library. Details on additional meeting locations and times will be posted on the MDH website and will be shared via email updates to those who sign up for the mailing list online at Medical Cannabis.

Minnesota’s 2014 medical cannabis statute requires the health commissioner to make a determination on whether intractable pain should be added to the list of qualifying conditions before giving consideration to the addition of any other condition. Legislation passed in 2015 requires this determination be made by January 1, 2016. The Office of Medical Cannabis is responsible for organizing opportunities for public input on this question and has established an advisory panel to make a recommendation to the commissioner. Intractable pain is defined in statute as “a pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts.”

According to Office of Medical Cannabis Director Michelle Larson, the upcoming meetings will be an opportunity to hear Minnesotans’ perspectives about the current state of the program and its future course.

“There has been a lot of interest in this program since it was created, and we know people have questions about how it works and how it will evolve,” Larson said. “We’re looking forward to meeting with people to answer their questions when we can. It’s also important for us to hear directly from Minnesotans about how the program can best serve them and their loved ones.”

At each session, participants will have the opportunity to provide input on the question of adding intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions. Other topics of focus for the meetings will include an overall update on the status of medical cannabis in Minnesota, the patient registry, research efforts associated with the program, product composition, delivery methods, laboratory testing, cannabis patient centers/manufacturers, and roles for patients, health care practitioners, parents/legal guardians, and caregivers in the program.

Dates (2015) Time City/County Event Location
Wednesday, August 26 5:30-7:30 p.m. Rochester Rochester Public Library
101 2nd St. SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Thursday, August 27 5:30-7:30 p.m. Willmar Kandiyohi Health and Human Services
2200 23rd St. NE #0030
Willmar, MN 56201
Tuesday, September 15 5-7 p.m. Moorhead Minnesota State Community and Technical College
1900 28th Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56563
Rooms A117 and A119
Monday, September 21

5-6:30 p.m.

Mankato Blue Earth County Library – Auditorium
100 E. Main St.
Mankato, MN 56563
Tuesday, September 22 5:30-7:00 p.m. Grand Rapids

Sawmill Inn – Sawmill Hall
2301 South Pokegama Avenue
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Wednesday, September 23 5:30-7:00 p.m. Hibbing City Services – Memorial Building Arena – Dining Room
400 East 23rd Street
Hibbing, MN 55746
Tuesday, September 29 5:30-7:00 p.m. Woodbury Globe University – White Bear Lake Room
8147 Globe Dr.
Woodbury, MN 55125
Wednesday, September 30 5:30-7:00 p.m. St. Paul Amherst H. Wilder - Auditorium
451 Lexington Parkway North
St. Paul 55104
Tuesday, October 20 5:30-7:00 p.m. Bemidji

Holiday Inn Express - Conference Center
2422 Ridgeway Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Thursday, October 22 5:30-7:00 p.m. Hennepin County

Minneapolis Urban League
Glover Sudduth Center - Laura Scott Williams
2100 Plymouth Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Tuesday, October 27 5:30-7:00 p.m. St. Cloud St. Cloud Public Library – Mississippi Room
1300 W. St. Germain St.
St. Cloud, MN 56301



Media inquiries:

Scott Smith
MDH Communications