Giancola-Durkin, P.A.

What changes has Minnesota's medical marijuana program seen?

While marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, many states have legalized the drug for medical purposes. Minnesota is among these states. The state legislature approved the legalization of medical marijuana in 2014, and the state's medical marijuana program started the following year.

Since this time, the rules surrounding this program have not stayed stagnant. Rather there have been a range of changes. Today, we'll discuss two notable shifts that have occurred.

Expansion of who can qualify for medical marijuana

Medical marijuana cannot be prescribed in connection to just any condition. Rather, the state only allows it to be used in connection to certain health problems. The number of conditions on this list has been growing. For example, chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration will be added to this list at the start of July of next year.

Expansion of what forms of medical marijuana are legal

The state also puts limits on what types of marijuana products can be used for the treatment of medical conditions. Initially, the only eligible forms were liquid, topical, pills and vapor oil. However, this list too has been growing. For example, marijuana gums, lozenges, mints powders and tablets will be allowed starting next summer.

What changes will the future see?

Among the criticisms some have leveled at the state's medical marijuana program is that it doesn't cover a great deal of people and it remains expensive for patients. One wonders if we will see rule shifts addressing such arguments. Are there any particular changes you hope will be made to this program in upcoming years?

As this discussion underscores, the rules regarding medical marijuana here in Minnesota are complex and constantly evolving. Being accused of running afoul of such regulations is a serious matter. It could lead to an individual being charged with drug crimes. When a person is facing criminal charges in connection to accusations of not complying with the state's medical marijuana regulations, seeking skilled and knowledgeable defense representation can be a critical step.

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