What Patients Should Know Before Enrolling - Minnesota Department of Health

What Patients Should Know Before Enrolling

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis, including medical cannabis, is a federally illegal substance. It is a Schedule I controlled substance and the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits its use. Before you enroll in the Medical Cannabis Program, you should be aware of the following:

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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.

Updated Friday, 12-Feb-2021 16:41:46 CST