Feb. 1, 2022
Dried plant available for medical cannabis patients in March
Patients registered in Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program will be eligible to buy dried cannabis flower for smoking from the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries starting March 1.
In preparation for the change, registered patients interested in smokable cannabis can make an appointment for a consultation with a medical cannabis dispensary pharmacist beginning Feb. 1 so they will be pre-approved to buy pre-packaged dried flower and pre-rolls once available.
Consultations, which can be in-person or virtual, are required when a patient changes the type of medical cannabis they receive. Smokable cannabis may be available a few days before March 1, if the state’s relevant administrative rules are finalized early. Patients should check with their medical cannabis dispensary for further details.
The sale of smokable cannabis is limited to patients and caregivers who are 21 years or older and who are registered with the Medical Cannabis Program. Proof of age will be required when picking up smokable medical cannabis. Scheduling an appointment at a medical cannabis dispensary ahead of time is strongly recommended.
“Patients need to weigh the risks of smoking medical cannabis, including those related to secondhand smoke and lung health, with any potential benefits,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “Smokable cannabis may not be right for everyone; patients should have a conversation with their health care practitioner for guidance.”
Minnesota’s medical cannabis dispensaries will offer pre-packaged dried flower and pre-rolls in a variety of strains and levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Registered patients can get up to a 90-day supply of smokable cannabis.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) expects patient enrollment to double or triple, based on the experiences of other states that added dried flower to their medical cannabis program. In an October 2021 survey by the Office of Medical Cannabis, enrolled patients were asked if they were likely to try smokable cannabis when it becomes available. Of the respondents, 71% said they were very likely or somewhat likely to try it.
Patients who decide to use smokable cannabis are encouraged to learn where smoking medical cannabis is and is not allowed. Registered patients can only use medical cannabis within Minnesota. Medical cannabis can be used on private property, but not in public places where it is illegal to smoke or vape tobacco. Medical cannabis cannot be smoked or vaped where a minor could be exposed to secondhand smoke or vapor.
To become a patient in the Medical Cannabis Program, a person must be certified by a participating health care practitioner for at least one of 17 qualifying medical conditions. More information on the enrollment process is available on the Office of Medical Cannabis website.
The Medical Cannabis Program will add another option for medicine later this year. Infused edibles (in the form of gummies and chews) will become a new delivery method in the program effective Aug. 1, 2022. This was approved during MDH’s annual petition and comment process to solicit public input on potential qualifying medical conditions and delivery methods for medicine.