Category Archives: Minnesota

Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Hashish Legalization Invoice

State lawmakers in Minnesota presented a invoice this week that may legalize the leisure use of marijuana by means of adults and determine a prison marijuana business within the state. The invoice, HF 4632, used to be presented by means of Space of Representatives Majority Chief Ryan Winkler on Tuesday with the enhance of 33 cosponsors.

Winkler, a Democrat, stated in February that he and his colleagues within the Space had been operating on what he stated can be “the most productive legalization invoice within the nation to this point.” He added that the lawmakers operating at the invoice would be told from the errors of the 11 different states that experience already legalized marijuana.

Quickly after, on the other hand, consideration shifted from pending legislative priorities to coping with the unconventional coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe. However with restrictions imposed to gradual the unfold of the virus now starting to be at ease, Winkler believes it’s time to resume the rush to legalize hashish.

“We made a dedication to introduce law this consultation, and we would have liked to apply thru on that dedication,” he stated in a observation. “Our present precedence is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, however after town halls and discussions round this factor, we nonetheless sought after to place a powerful invoice ahead. As we glance to come back out of this disaster as a greater, more potent Minnesota, we wish to proceed operating towards legalizing hashish for accountable grownup use.”

If handed, Winkler’s invoice would legalize the use and ownership of hashish by means of adults. As much as 1.five oz. of pot might be legally carried on one’s particular person and as much as ten kilos of marijuana might be saved at house. Rising as much as 8 hashish vegetation, 4 of that could be flowering, would even be legalized.

The invoice additionally supplies a regulatory framework for a industrial hashish business to be established in Minnesota. Labeling, packaging, and trying out necessities can be applied for hashish merchandise and dosage sizes can be limited, amongst different laws.

Social Fairness Measures Written Into Invoice

A number of social fairness provisions also are written into the invoice, together with the established order of an Workplace of Social Fairness that may distribute grants to advertise financial alternative and group steadiness. The measure additionally prioritizes social fairness candidates for industry licenses within the new hashish business. HF 4632 supplies for the expungement of maximum hashish convictions, as neatly.

The invoice used to be crafted after months of public discussions and analysis that integrated an research of the successes and demanding situations of hashish legalization in different states. Not like different states, the law does no longer come with provisions that permit native jurisdictions to prohibit hashish companies, an influence that has been used to thwart the expansion of the prison hashish business in California.

“Minnesotans were loud and transparent that our present hashish regulations are doing extra hurt than just right,” Winkler stated. “Through making a regulatory framework, we will deal with the harms brought about by means of hashish and determine a extra good set of regulations to fortify our well being care and prison justice programs and make sure higher results for communities.”

Remaining 12 months, a bipartisan invoice to legalize hashish used to be presented in Minnesota however did not live to tell the tale a vote by means of a state Senate committee. When Winkler first introduced the brand new invoice’s coming near near creation in February, he said it will be a protracted street to legalization matter to amendments and compromise and it’s “extremely most probably that it’s going to take a couple of 12 months to get it carried out.”

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Minnesota Expands Clinical Marijuana Program With Extra Qualifying Stipulations

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is increasing the state’s clinical marijuana program to incorporate continual ache and age-related macular degeneration as stipulations that may qualify for remedy, state well being officers mentioned Monday.

The state Division of Well being additionally mentioned it might permit extra websites the place sufferers can get admission to clinical hashish. The adjustments take impact in August, Minnesota Public Radio Information reported.

Minnesota’s clinical marijuana program started in 2014. Firstly, simplest 9 stipulations had been at the record, however now it covers such stipulations as obstructive sleep apnea, post-traumatic rigidity dysfunction and most cancers.

Smart Trade Minnesota, a bunch looking to exchange marijuana coverage in Minnesota, sought the addition of continual ache. A health care provider’s prognosis of continual ache can be required. It might be more straightforward to certify than intractable ache, which used to be added to this system a couple of years in the past.

Minnesota Well being Commissioner Jan Malcolm mentioned the added stipulations give extra other people extra techniques to take care of debilitating sickness.

“The hot button is that individuals affected by those critical stipulations could also be helped through collaborating in this system, and we felt it used to be necessary to present them the chance to hunt that aid,” Malcolm mentioned in a commentary.

Maren Schroeder, coverage director for Smart Trade Minnesota, mentioned medical doctors were hesitant to certify intractable ache instances as a result of that carries a particular criminal definition wherein ache can’t be got rid of however simplest controlled and different choices have failed to reach effects.

“This may give medical doctors just a little extra convenience in getting their ache sufferers into this program in addition to serving to the ones sufferers qualify,” Schroeder mentioned.

Citizens petitioned to incorporate the brand new stipulations this summer time. The ones requests had been reviewed through a voters panel and Well being Division group of workers. 4 stipulations had been rejected: nervousness, insomnia, psoriasis and irritating mind damage.

As of October, just about 18,000 sufferers had been qualified for the state’s clinical marijuana program. Minnesota’s program is thought of as slightly restrictive as a result of sufferers aren’t allowed to get marijuana in leaf shape or ingest it thru smoking.

Capsules, vapors, topical ointments and liquid gels were the one paperwork other people may download thru approved producers. Beginning subsequent summer time, new supply strategies will come with water-soluble cannabinoid, reminiscent of powders or sprinkles, and merchandise reminiscent of lozenges, gums, mints and drugs.

As well as, LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Clinical Answers — the 2 approved producers — can be allowed to open a blended 8 extra facilities in Minnesota. The Well being Division mentioned the proposed facilities are in Blaine, Burnsville, Duluth, Golden Valley, Mankato, Rogers, Willmar and Woodbury.

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Minnesota Alzheimer’s Patients Can Now Register for Medical Marijuana

Starting July 1, people with Alzheimer’s disease can register for medical marijuana in Minnesota. And once registered, they’ll be able to obtain medical cannabis from the state’s two manufacturers beginning August 1. The Minnesota Department of Health first announced plans to add Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition in December 2018. Alzheimer’s disease is the only qualifying condition Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm approved after a citizen’s review panel proposed adding seven new conditions, including opioid use disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Minnesota now has 14 conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana. And with the addition of Alzheimer’s disease, Minnesota joins a trend of U.S. states moving to expand their medical cannabis programs to include the neurodegenerative disorder that afflicts nearly 6 million Americans.

Minnesota Alzheimer’s Patients Can Purchase Medical Marijuana in August

Over the next 30 days, the Minnesota Department of Health will be working to register Alzheimer’s patients to the state’s five-year-old medical marijuana program. The health department requires patients to advance certify before they can obtain medical cannabis, and details on the process are available on its medical cannabis website.

The addition of Alzheimer’s disease could grow Minnesota’s medical marijuana program substantially. According to Department of Health data, there were 15,687 patients actively registered as of March 31. But there are more than 94,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease in Minnesota, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. And access to legal, regulated medical cannabis products won’t just benefit them. There are more than 254,000 family and friends proving care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s in the state. And researchers say cannabis can make taking care of people with Alzheimer’s easier.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in elderly people. It’s a neurodegenerative disorder that causes cognitive impairments, delusion, depression and agitation, and there is no known cure. But studies show that cannabis, in particular the CBD and THC cannabinoids it contains, could help manage the behavioral symptoms that reduce quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

More States Recognizing Cannabis as a Safe Treatment for Alzheimer’s Symptoms

And while no studies prove that cannabis or cannabis products can stop, slow, reverse or prevent Alzheimer’s, there are some exciting studies that suggest it is a possibility. One recent study found that micro-doses of THC slowed the production of the protein plaques scientists believe is a leading cause of dementia. Still, large, long-term studies on cannabis as an Alzheimer’s treatment are lacking.

But the absence of conclusive research on cannabis and Alzheimer’s didn’t prevent Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm from approving it as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. “Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” Malcolm said. “However, there is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”

There is also some evidence for the potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve symptoms for patients diagnosed with the six other conditions petitioners proposed be added to the list, like arthritis, opioid use disorder, panic and traumatic brain injury. States that have expanded their medical marijuana programs have generally included such conditions. But this year, Malcolm approved only Alzheimer’s disease for Minnesota, bringing the total up to 14 conditions on a list that has grown every year from its initial nine in 2014.

So starting today, Minnesota joins a number of recent U.S. states and territories, from Texas to New Mexico to Puerto Rico, moving to add Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition.

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57 Percent of Minnesota Doctors Consider Adult-Use Cannabis An Important Issue

In the first of a series of talks focusing on the issue of recreational marijuana legalization, hundreds of Minnesota doctors gathered in Minneapolis to share their views on the issue. To gather input from those doctors, the Minnesota Medical Association conducted a survey of its 600 member physicians. According to the survey, a majority of Minnesota doctors consider adult-use cannabis an important or very important issue. But the survey also gathered data on where doctors stand on adult use, revealing a fairly even split between support for legalization, opposition to it and the view that Minnesota doctors should remain neutral but still involved in policy discussion.

Doctors’ Medical Fields Shaped Views on Cannabis Legalization

Most Minnesota doctors want to be involved in discussion, education and research on the topic of adult-use marijuana legalization. But when it comes to their specific stance on the question of legal weed, Minnesota doctors are divided. According to a Minnesota Medical Association survey, more than a third of its members, 39 percent, oppose recreational legalization. Comparatively, 27 percent support a legal weed. 32 percent believe the Minnesota Medical Association should take a neutral stance neither for nor against legalization.

That’s a wide range of opinions. And it seems that where doctors fall on the issue is at least partially due to their specialization and experiences. Dr. Emily Bannister, an occupational medicine physician who opposed recreational legalization, says she has concerns because of what she sees in her office. “The recreational marijuana piece concerns me because of what I do in occupational medicine. I’m worried about people being impaired. I’m worried about people being impaired on the job or when they’re driving.”

Dr. Carter Casmaer, however, sees things differently. Casmaer is an emergency physician, and he supports legalizing marijuana for adult use. “I treat overdoses all night, I did it on my last shift,” Casmaer said. “I don’t see marijuana overdoses and I won’t see marijuana overdoses. Prohibition is a failed policy.”

Then, there are physicians like Dr. Minoj Doss, whose field is environmental medicine. Doss thinks the MMA should adopt a neutral opinion and instead focus on education and doing due diligence.

Doctors Want a Hand Shaping Minnesota Marijuana Laws

Views about marijuana legalization and medical cannabis treatments vary widely among medical professionals. But as a whole, the medical community has been one of the more reluctant groups to embrace new attitudes and new policies about weed. Several states’ medical marijuana programs struggled in their early stages to get enough doctors on board, and Minnesota is a prime example.

As of March 2019, Minnesota had authorized almost 1,500 health care practitioners to certify patients for medical cannabis treatments. But the Office of Medical Cannabis, within Minnesota’s Department of Health, doesn’t provide a list of qualified doctors. Furthermore, just 30 doctors are responsible for certifying half of Minnesota’s roughly 23,000 patients.

On top of that, patients face access issues, especially in rural areas, lose gun rights if they become a cannabis patient and only qualify if they have one of 13 conditions. As a result, patients are dropping out of Minnesota’s medical marijuana program en masse. Minnesota has been a medical-marijuana state since 2014. But it’s program is one of the most restrictive in the United States.

Now, as Minnesota lawmakers begin pushing bills to legalize cannabis for adult-use, Minnesota doctors say they want to be part of the policy discussion. But it’s important to become educated, first. “It’s a good time for us to learn more about this and then make a more informed decision,” said MMA member Dr. Wood. Dr. Casmaer, however, believes there’s nothing neutral about taking a neutral stance on legalization. “By taking that stance of prohibition we’re actively harming the public,” Casmaer said.

Minnesota doctors may not yet see eye to eye on adult-use marijuana. But at least they’re having a serious discussion about it.

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