Minnesota has become the latest U.S. state to allow the legal distribution of medical cannabis as of July 1, 2015.
Under the restrictive program, patients will be able to obtain laboratory-tested medicines (in pill or liquid form, only), but only as treatment for a specific set of ailments. Last year, Minnesota lawmakers selected the following conditions: seizure disorders, severe muscle spasms, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and certain terminal illnesses and cancers.
The program has faced criticism from some advocates because it does not allow for consumption or possession of cannabis flower. In fact, only two companies are licensed to grow the plant — LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions — and their grow facilities enjoy state-of-the-art security systems, which Minnesota police have declared more than satisfactory.
As of Friday, there were only 65 patients registered with the state’s medical cannabis program, though 139 had begun the process. Meanwhile, 203 health providers are registered and ready to certify patients who qualify for the program.
Photo Credit: Doug Kerr