Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: A Guide for Patients
Introducing the Minnesota: Medical Cannabis Program
When Governor Dayton signed the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Use Act into law in May 2014, Minnesota became the twenty-third state to legalize medical cannabis.
The Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) oversees this legislation and strives to help you and other Minnesotans affected by these laws understand related policies and processes.
Explore this publication and learn:
- If you qualify to be a patient in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program
- What three steps you must take to participate:
- How to obtain medical cannabis if you are a qualified patient
- Where to find additional resources
“Do I qualify for the program?”
If you are a Minnesota resident who suffers from at least one of the following conditions that has been certified by a health care practitioner who is registered with the program, you may be eligible:
- Tourette syndrome
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasm, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of less than one year1
- Intractable pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (PDF)
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Chronic pain (effective Aug. 2020)
1 To qualify for the program, you must suffer from cancer or a terminal illness and have a probable life expectancy of under one year, if your illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain; nausea or severe vomiting; or cachexia or severe wasting.
Before you may register for the program, a doctor, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse must first certify your condition.
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse. These are the only health care practitioners authorized to certify your condition.
- Keep in mind: The OMC does not maintain a list of preferred practitioners. It is your responsibility to meet with a qualified health care practitioner.
- Go to the OMC website and print the Patient Email and Acknowledgement Form (PDF).
On the Patient Email and Acknowledgement Form you’ll need to:
- Write in the email address you’d like to use to receive private messages about your health. If you do not already have a non-employer based email address, consider setting up a new personal email account before your appointment.)
- Bring this form along with you to your appointment and give it to your health care practitioner.
- During your visit, ask your practitioner for an appointment summary and a list of the medications that are currently prescribed to you. Take these documents with you when you go pick up your medical cannabis.
After you meet with your health care practitioner, you’ll receive an email from the OMC that will contain:
- Confirmation of your condition by your health care practitioner.
- Your unique registration link for the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry.
Once you receive your certification email, you will be ready to register. Before you click on the registration link, gather your:
- Government-issued ID: state ID, driver’s license or passport
- If applicable, your government medical assistance plan ID: CHAMPVA, Medicaid or MinnesotaCare, Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Camera or a camera-equipped mobile phone to capture/scan images of your IDs
- Credit/debit card or check — the program’s payment processor, U.S. Bank, accepts all of the above methods of payment for the annual registration fee
When your account has been approved, you’ll be notified by email. Then you may move on to the last part of the process — Step 3: Receive.
Congratulations! You are now officially registered with the program.
To purchase medical cannabis, you will need to complete and submit a Patient Self-Evaluation Form. If you are under 18 — or if at your certification appointment, your health care practitioner determined you need a caregiver — the person who is authorized to pick up your medical cannabis on your behalf will also need to fill out this form.
To access the form:
- Log in to your account on the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry.
- Submit a new Patient Self-Evaluation Form each time you request medical cannabis.
Visit a Cannabis Patient Center, and be sure to bring along your appointment summary and the list of medications currently prescribed to you that you received at your health care practitioner visit.
At the Cannabis Patient Center you'll meet with the onsite licensed pharmacist who will:
- Review your self-evaluation report, practitioner appointment summary and the list of your currently prescribed medications.
- Provide a medical cannabis dosage recommendation customized for you.
“Where are the Cannabis Patient Centers?”
There are eight Cannabis Patient Centers located throughout Minnesota in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Eagan, Bloomington, Rochester, St. Cloud and Hibbing.
Before visiting a Cannabis Patient Center, please call to verify the hours of operation.
Find the Cannabis Patient Center closest to you.
“How much does medical cannabis cost?”
At this time, insurance companies do not cover medical cannabis. Consequently, all patients who participate in the program are responsible for these costs:
Annual Registration Fee
There is an annual registration fee of $200 that will be reduced to $50 if you receive CHAMPVA or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or participate in Medicaid or MinnesotaCare.
Cannabis Product Fee
This fee is paid directly to the manufacturers that operate the Cannabis Patient Center each time you, your parent/legal guardian or registered caregiver return to purchase medical cannabis. The amount of this fee may vary based on the type and amount of medical cannabis purchased.
“Where can I learn more?”
For your convenience, program-related resources, including the latest legislative news, fact sheets and clinical research, are available on our Medical Cannabis website.
If you have additional questions, please call the Office of Medical Cannabis or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Medical Cannabis
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5598 Metro
(844) 879-3381 Non-metro