Minnesota Senate Committee Advances Bill to Allow Medical Cannabis Flower

Minnesota’s Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee voted unanimously to advance a measure giving medical cannabis patients access to cannabis flower.

Full story after the jump.

The Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee last week unanimously approved a measure to allow flower products in the state’s medical cannabis market, 5 Eyewitness News reports. It’s the first time a Senate committee has approved such reforms.

State Sen. Matt Klein (DFL), a physician who also serves on the committee, said they while his “addiction medicine friends” have told him that “there is no evidence to support this in the medical literature, so it is not an evidence-based approach,” his opinion to support the bill was based on testimony given to the panel.

“…The testimony does have a point that the margin of toxicity in cannabis is extremely low and our burden of illness with opioid addiction is extremely high and very dangerous.” – Klein to 5 Eyewitness News

Currently, medical cannabis patients in Minnesota can only access pill or tincture products.

Patrick McClellan, a medical cannabis patient, told 5 Eyewitness News that he anticipates allowing flower would reduce the cost for patients enrolled in the program.

“I have to take nine additional medications, in addition to the medical marijuana pill, and it is very expensive and can be cost-prohibitive for many people,” McClellan said following the vote.  “The flower will really open things up, and it will allow someone like me to get rid of the nine other pills I have to take.”

Last month, the House Commerce Committee approved a broad legalization measure – the first time any legislative body in the state showed support for the reforms.

A same-as House version of the medical cannabis bill is currently in the Health Finance and Policy committee.

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