Medical Cannabis Frequently Asked Questions - Minnesota Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Frequently Asked Questions

Information About Enrolling, Adding a Caregiver, and More!

Get to know answers to frequently asked questions that we hear from our patients, caregivers, and people who are interested in becoming a patient.

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Here are some tips:

  • Ask your current medical team for a referral to a health care practitioner who is participating.
  • Search the internet for health care practitioners and clinics that are participating.
  • Reach out to a non-profit support program for your medical condition.

A health care practitioner's participation in the Medical Cannabis Program is voluntary. Due to data privacy guidelines, the Office of Medical Cannabis cannot provide a list of health care practitioners registered with the program.

Shortly after getting certified, you will receive an email from the Minnesota Department of Health's Medical Cannabis Registry. Check your junk or spam folder if you do not see this email in your regular inbox. Read the instructions carefully and click the link in the email to begin your Medical Cannabis Registry enrollment.

After you submit your application, the Office of Medical Cannabis will let you know by email when your enrollment has been approved (processing can take up to 30 days) or if we need additional documentation from you.

Certification from a health care practitioner is good for 90 days. A patient must submit a complete enrollment application and get it approved within this 90-day window; otherwise, their certification will expire.

If your enrollment application gets approved within 90 days of certification, you will be enrolled in the program for one year.

If your certification expires, you must contact your health care practitioner to get recertified. Once you are recertified, you will receive another enrollment email with your application link and have another 90 days to get your enrollment approved. 

Each patient, caregiver, parent/legal guardian/spouse, and health care provider must have a different email address for their Registry account. Email addresses cannot be shared by multiple accounts. One parent/legal guardian can share the email address of a patient who is their minor child.

First, you must get recertified by a participating health care practitioner.

After you are recertified, you will receive an enrollment email with your application link. Complete or update your application and pay the annual registration fee.

The Office of Medical Cannabis processes all applications in the order they are received. It can take up to 30 days for review. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email that states your enrollment in the program is extended for another year.

You can re-enroll as early as 90 days before your enrollment expires.

The Office of Medical Cannabis can take up to 30 days to process applications for the program. Requesting status updates takes time away from processing applications. Know that we are working hard to process them as fast as we can.

You will receive an email when your application is approved. All applications are processed in the order they are received.

We will contact you by email or phone if you submitted an incomplete application.

The Office of Medical Cannabis will send you an approval email that contains instructions and links for completing your Patient Self-evaluation and contacting a Cannabis Patient Center so you can make an appointment to pick up your medicine.

Proof of Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income must be dated within the past 90 days and explicitly state that you are “entitled to monthly disability benefits” or that you are receiving Supplemental Security Income. If you have an online account with Social Security Administration, print the letter by going to this Social Security website. Otherwise, call 1-800-772-1213 to request this letter or visit a Social Security Field Office.

Because of changes in law, patients no longer need to get approval from their health care practitioner to add a caregiver; however, a caregiver still needs to complete a background check.

You can add a caregiver to your account (using a different email address from your own). Your caregiver will receive an email with a link and information about completing a background check, which can be started right away.

For details on completing the background check, go to the Designated Caregiver Background Check Informed Consent Form (PDF).

You can add a parent, legal guardian, or spouse to your account when you first enroll or any time after you have been approved. People registered in this category are NOT required to complete a background check.

NOTE: The following documentation is required.

  • For parent or legal guardian: Copy of their government-issued photo ID, patient's birth certificate or legal guardianship papers.
  • For spouse: Copy of their government-issued photo ID and marriage certificate.

We do not issue medical cannabis cards. Patients who want proof of participating in the program (for instance, to show an employer) can print a verification document.

To access your document, log in to your Registry account. From the patient home page, click on your username (your email address) at the top right-hand corner of the screen.

Select "Registry Verification Card," then select "Open" to view and print the verification document. Continue to the next page to print. Either save a copy to your desktop or take a photo of it with your phone's camera.

For a detailed description of the process, see Step 3: Access your registry verification document provided in Managing Your Medical Cannabis Registry Account: A Guide for Medical Cannabis Patients (PDF).

We do not review or approve Patient Self-evaluations. Cannabis Patient Center staff use them to determine which medicine(s) would work best for a patient with your condition(s) and medications.

You must reach out directly to a Cannabis Patient Center by phone or by visiting their website to schedule a pick-up time.

Please follow up with the Cannabis Patient Center where you obtained the medical cannabis to report side effects or adverse events.

Questions to consider before enrolling

No. The federal law prohibits crossing state lines with cannabis, even if you are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal. Moreover, the protections Minnesota law offers to medical cannabis program participants do not extend beyond Minnesota's borders. If you are enrolled in the program, you should not take your medical cannabis with you to another state or country.

Cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Federal law prohibits anyone who uses an "unlawful" substance, including medical cannabis, from purchasing a firearm. In 2011, the federal US Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Division (ATFE) stated medical cannabis users were not entitled to exercise their right to bear arms because of the federal government's prohibition of cannabis. Citing cannabis' status as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, the agency said: "[T]here are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law."

The Minnesota Department of Health does not regulate the possession or purchase of firearms and therefore cannot say how the federal prohibition will be enforced. Specific questions about these federal firearm restrictions should be directed to your attorney or the appropriate law enforcement agency.

CDL drivers are subject to extensive state and federal regulation, including federal Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing. DOT drug and alcohol testing rules apply to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce. A DOT regulation (49 CFR 383) requires DOT agencies to implement drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. Medical cannabis, even if legal under state law, is an illegal drug under federal law. The DOT says enrollment in a state medical cannabis program is not a valid medical explanation if a transportation employee tests positive for any prohibited drug. Therefore, federal law prohibits the use of medical cannabis by CDL-covered individuals.

Technical questions about the Registry

To get started, go to Medical Cannabis Registry and click the “Login” button then “Forgot Your Password?”

You will then receive an email with a link to reset your password. Your password must be at least 8 characters long and use at least one number or symbol.

After you enter your new password, you will be notified that the password was successfully reset. You can now log in using your new password.

If you receive an error message, follow these steps: If your email address is already filled in, delete it, and type it back in and enter the new password.

Before contacting the Office of Medical Cannabis, please review the following suggestions. If you are unable to log in to the Registry, try to:

  • Use a different computer browser (Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, etc.) from the one you are using.
  • Clear the browser history.
  • Log out of the Registry, then shut down and restart your computer.
  • Reset your password by clicking on “Forgot Your Password?” on the login page. A password reset link will be sent to the email address on file. You have 24 hours to reset the password.
  • Type in your full email address rather than allowing the computer to fill in the email address for you.

Questions for companies interested in becoming a manufacturer or testing laboratory

Current law limits the medical cannabis program to two medical cannabis manufacturers. The Minnesota Department of Health has registered two medical cannabis manufacturers: Vireo Health of Minnesota and Leafline Labs. Minnesota law does not allow registration of additional medical cannabis manufacturers.

State law requires that medical cannabis be tested for content, contaminants, and consistency by third-party, commissioner-approved laboratories. Minnesota's Medical Cannabis Program maintains an open application process for independent testing laboratories. Interested laboratories must complete an application and undergo a site visit prior to consideration for approval. Get more information at Medical Cannabis Laboratory Application Process and Forms.

Current law limits the medical cannabis program to two medical cannabis manufacturers. The Minnesota Department of Health has registered two medical cannabis manufacturers: Vireo Health of Minnesota and Leafline Labs. Minnesota’s medical cannabis manufacturers are required to grow, process, and distribute medical cannabis to program participants. Minnesota law does not allow registration of additional medical cannabis manufacturers.

Questions about raw cannabis

Dried raw cannabis will be allowed for registered patients who are 21 years or older beginning either on March 1, 2022, or at an earlier date if the testing labs and administrative rules are ready sooner. Patients and caregivers will not be allowed to grow cannabis at home but must purchase it from a registered manufacturer. Check the Medical Cannabis Program web pages for updates.

Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program allows registered patients to purchase up to a 90-day supply of medicine.

Status of legalized adult use

No, a bill that would have legalized the adult use of cannabis, House File 600 or HF600, passed the Minnesota House of Representatives, but not the Minnesota Senate. It would need to pass both the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor in order to become law. See a summary of legislative changes to medical cannabis laws made in 2021 (PDF)

Updated Wednesday, 25-Aug-2021 13:34:22 CDT