For more information contact: Matt Roznowski 651-296-8875
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, a broad bipartisan majority of state lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives approved legislation to provide safe and legal access to medical cannabis to improve the quality of life of Minnesotans with serious medical conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and seizures. The bill passed by a vote of 89-40.
The Senate passed the same bill with broad bipartisan support earlier today by a vote of 46-16. It now heads to Governor Dayton, who says he will sign it into law.
The compromise bill, announced yesterday by the Dayton Administration, state lawmakers and advocates, addresses the medical community’s desire for medical oversight and for gathering quality information about patients’ health impacts while accommodating the safety and security concerns of the law enforcement community.
“The personal stories and struggles of Minnesotans, including children like Amelia Weaver and her family, are what made this strong compromise possible,” said State Representative Carly Melin (DFL – Hibbing), the bill’s chief House author. “Minnesota is taking an important step toward compassion and relief for children and adults who are suffering.”
Details of the bill are as follows:
HOW IT WILL HELP MINNESOTANS
This bill creates a safe and secure method of providing medical cannabis to those patients whose health care provider certifies them to be suffering from conditions including:
The bill creates a patient registry process for monitoring and evaluating the health impacts experienced by patients taking medical cannabis. This information will help health professionals broaden their understanding of the benefits, risks and side effects of medical cannabis.
The bill also establishes a medical cannabis task force that will conduct an assessment of medical cannabis therapeutic research. The task force will evaluate the state’s medical cannabis program and the impact of medical cannabis in Minnesota.
HOW IT WILL WORK
STEP 1: Minnesotans seeking to use medical cannabis to treat one of the qualified medical conditions will receive certification of their condition from a Minnesota-licensed health care practitioner (a doctor, physician assistant or advanced practice nurse who is providing care to the patient). NOTE: The Commissioner of Health will register a designated caregiver for a patient if the patient’s health care provider certifies that the patient is unable to self-administer medication.
STEP 2: After receipt of a patient’s application, the Commissioner of Health will enroll the patient in the registry program and issue a registry verification. Applications will be denied only under specific circumstances, such as an applicant providing false information or an applicant lacking certification that he or she has one of the qualifying medical conditions.
STEP 3: Minnesotans issued a registry verification will be eligible to receive medical cannabis for their condition at one of the distribution facilities set up by the state’s medical cannabis manufacturers.
STEP 4: As part of their certification and participation in the program, patients must agree to continue treatment for their condition and their health care provider must agree to provide ongoing reports about the patient’s health status/condition.
HOW WILL THE MEDICAL CANNABIS BE PROVIDED?
MEDICAL CANNABIS BY THE NUMBERS
July 1, 2015 – Date when medical cannabis will be made available to registered patients.
2 – Number of medical cannabis manufacturing facilities approved to operate in Minnesota.
8 –Number of distribution centers dispensing medical cannabis in Minnesota (manufacturers may phase in facilities over time).
$200 – Medical cannabis registry annual enrollment fee.
$50 – Reduced enrollment fee for Minnesotans receiving Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Insurance payments or enrolled in medical assistance or MinnesotaCare.
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