Minnesota Senate Considers Modernizing Medical Cannabis Program; House Pushes for Full Legalization

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<![CDATA[Susan Rydberg | Adobe Stock The finish line for cannabis reform in Minnesota may not be too far away, but it has become a matter of who might cross it first.In the state Senate, the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee amended and unanimously voted, 9-0, to pass Senate File 1179 earlier this month, which includes provisions to modernize a 5-year-old medical cannabis program that currently bans manufacturers from providing dried leaf and flower for qualifying patients to smoke. As the law stands in Minnesota, only oils and tinctures containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be consumed, which are typically more expensive than smokable flower. That has left medical cannabis patients spending more money out of pocket or, perhaps, the inclination to pursue the illicit market. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the average cost for a 30-day supply of medical cannabis was $316 in 2019. The goal of S.F. 1179 is to make medical cannabis more affordable and more accessible to qualifying patients, Sen. Mark Koran told the MinnPost earlier this month. A Republican, Koran authored the bill. In addition to allowing the state’s two manufacturers—LeafLine Labs and Vireo Health of Minnesota—to cultivate and distribute dried flower for smoking, other key provisions in the bill include adding opioid addiction as one of the nine qualifying health conditions, and a process for adding a delivery method for the medical program’s 11 distribution clinics in the state. But S.F. 1179 is not a path to full legalization, as there’s a different finish line brewing in the land of 10,000 lakes. The lower chamber of the state legislature is considering House File 600, an adult-use legalization effort which was first introduced and referred to the Commerce Finance and Policy Committee in February, and has since been amended and rereferred to the Labor,…

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Source : Minnesota Senate Considers Modernizing Medical Cannabis Program; House Pushes for Full Legalization

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