Medical Marijuana Sales to Begin Wednesday in Minnesota


ST. PAUL, MN — Just a little over a year since Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton gave final approval to a bill making the state the 22nd in the nation to allow medical marijuana, the first sales to patients are expected to begin Wednesday.

While Minnesota will have the most restrictive medical marijuana program implemented to date, which bans smoking of marijuana and access to raw cannabis plant matter, advocates are pleased that sales are beginning on schedule.

“The door is opening,” says Bob Cappechi of the Marijuana Policy Project. “This will start helping people out. That’s really what this is all about.”

Patients suffering from certain debilitating conditions, including seizures, cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS, will not have access to “traditional” forms of medical marijuana at the state’s eight distribution centers.

Instead of purchasing raw cannabis flowers in eights or ounces, patients will be able to purchase pills, oils and tinctures made from cannabis extracts.

While sales of medical marijuana products are scheduled to begin Wednesday, business may be slow at first.  As of Friday, only 65 patients statewide have been fully registered for the medical marijuana program, according to state officials. About 75 additional applications are still being processed.

Under the law passed by state lawmakers last year, the Department of Health was given until July 1, 2015 to fully implement the law and have medical marijuana available to patients.  While the law provided an allowance for for a six month extension if necessary, state officials were committed to meeting the deadline.





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