It’s no secret that Minnesota has one of the strictest and most conservative medical marijuana programs in the country. In fact, when the program was first launched back in 2014, only nine diagnosable medical ailments were considered to be “qualifying conditions.”
Since then, chronic/intractable pain has been added to the list, as has PTSD, autism, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (the latter two will come into effect on July 1, 2018).
Even still, there are questions as to whether the program will be able to continue in the coming years, as the only two initial dispensaries that were authorized to sell cannabis in the state lost a total of $11 million during the first two years of sales.
Moreover, current state laws do not allow for the use of actual flower/buds, meaning smoking marijuana is still illegal. Instead of flower, all qualified medical patients must take cannabis in the form of a liquid, pill, topical cream, or vaporized via an oil concentrate.
[*Important – there is currently an open petition to allow for additional delivery methods (you can access the form here), but it is only available between June 1 – July 31, 2018. Petitions outside these dates will not be considered].
Regardless of the current restrictions/limitations in place, if you are wondering how to get a medical marijuana card in Minnesota, we are here to help. This comprehensive guide outlines the steps you need to take, and also highlights important information and considerations that must be taken in order to be approved for the MMJ ID card.
Medical Marijuana in Minnesota: Current Laws and Restrictions
Be advised that without a legal MMJ card, those caught with possession of marijuana in Minnesota are still subject to harsh criminal penalties.
Possession of less than 42.5 grams is classed as a misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $200. However, possession of more than 42.5 grams is a felony offense, with a potential prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
As such, if you are a patient living in Minnesota who frequently treats with cannabis, it is imperative that you speak with a physician and apply for the medical marijuana card in order to protect yourself.
Here’s how to apply.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota
The process of obtaining a medical card in the state of Minnesota is actually relatively straightforward, and unlike in other states, it is possible to do part of the process online.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to apply for a medical marijuana card in Minnesota:
*[Be advised that you MUST be a resident of the state, and be able to provide proof of residency].
Step 1 – Contact a physician (or other healthcare provider)
The first step to getting a medical marijuana card in the state of Minnesota is to retrieve your medical records and contact a physician or other health care professional (see below) that is willing to look over your records to see if you are a qualified patient.
Please note that in addition to doctors (MD/DO),Physician Assistants (PA) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (ARNP) may also issue a medical marijuana recommendation .
You will need to provide an e-mail address for the healthcare provider’s office, as they will be registering you into the state’s online Medical Cannabis Patient Registry. You will also need to bring in this form, which states that you will receive e-mail notification from the office explaining how to proceed with the application.
*[Please note that healthcare providers are NOT required by law to review your records or issue you a marijuana certification, even if you are a patient with a documented qualifying condition. If you are having trouble finding a qualified healthcare provider that is willing to look over your information, feel free to contact us directly for recommendations].
Step 2 – Wait for an e-mail
Once you have found a healthcare provider’s office that has agreed to look over your records to see if you are qualified to use medical marijuana in the state of Minnesota (and after you have provided them with a valid e-mail address and a signed the Patient E-mail Acknowledgment Form), you then simply will wait to receive an e-mail from the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis.
Once the healthcare provider’s office has looked over your records and deemed you eligible for the use of medical cannabis, they will contact the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and add you to the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry.
*All proceeding instructions for completing the MMJ application will be contained in the e-mail you receive from the Office of Medical Cannabis — make SURE to check your spam/junk folder.
The email will also contain a link that you need in order to complete the online registration, as well as an important information form that you need to review before completing the registration. Once you receive the e-mail, you must complete the online registration within 90 days.
Step 3 – Register online
Once you have received the e-mail link, you will need to register online. Here’s what you will need to provide in order to complete the registration:
- Your full legal name
- Your address and phone number
- A government-issued ID showing proof of MN residency (such as your state of Minnesota ID or driver’s license, or you can scan a photo from your phone).
- Your government assistance plan ID (this can include an ID for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD), Medical Assistance, CHAMPVA, Veteran Affairs, Indian Health Service or Medicaid ID. You’ll have to scan the ID in a format that’s no larger than 3 MB). *Note that Medicare Cards are NOT accepted.
- A credit card to pay the non-refundable $200 Registration Fee (reduced fees of $50 are available for patients on Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, Medicaid, MNCare, IHS or CHAMPVA)
- The Patient Self-Evaluation Report, which is accessible in your account in the registry.
While this may seem like a lot, the process is actually quite easy and shouldn’t take that long. Once you have finished the Patient Self-Evaluation Report, you will receive another verification email stating that your account has been approved and that you are now eligible to visit a Cannabis Patient Center.
Step 4- Visit a Cannabis Patient Center
Once you receive your approval email, you may then visit the Cannabis Patient Center (CPC). Either you, your parent, your legal guardian or your caregiver must visit the CPC, where a pharmacist will review your information and recommend a specific dosage and type (i.e. you do NOT have the freedom to choose your own cannabis products).
You can check here for a complete list of CPC locations in the state of Minnesota.
Step 5 – Re-fill out the Patient Self Evaluation Form to receive more medical cannabis
Each time your CPC medical cannabis supply runs out, you will need to log back into your Patient Account and complete an additional Patient Self Evaluation Form.
Once completed, you may then re-visit the CPC to receive your next supply of medication.
How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota Cost?
As we mentioned, the initial application fee for medical marijuana in Minnesota is $200 (this same fee applies for annual renewals as well).
Reduced application/renewal fees are available for patients on Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, Medicaid, MNCare, IHS or CHAMPVA (you must be able to provide a valid ID).
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
Medical cannabis is available to Minnesota residents whose health care provider certifies them to be suffering from conditions including:
- Cancer that is associated with: severe/chronic pain; nausea/severe vomiting; cachexia (wasting syndrome).
- Tourette’s Syndrome.
- Seizures (including those characteristic of Epilepsy).
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms (including
those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis).
- Inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease).
- Terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of less
than one year*
- Intractable pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea^
*To qualify for the program, you must suffer from cancer or a terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year, if your illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain; nausea or severe vomiting; or Cachexia or severe wasting.
^ These are conditionally effective; patients can enroll July 1, 2018 and pick up medication August 1, 2018:
Should you need more information on Minnesota’s qualifying conditions, please read the official state document.
Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online (in Minutes)
Additional Information on Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
Hopefully we have outlined the steps to apply for medical marijuana in Minnesota fairly clearly. If you have additional concerns, here are some of the most common questions regarding medical cannabis use in the state:
Can I use Medical Marijuana Anywhere?
No. It is important to remember that when smoking in public, it may be assumed that you are using it for recreational use, which is illegal on a Federal Level. It is advised to consume your medicine responsibly, in the safety of your home or a private residence. Also, the laws of Minnesota require you to store your marijuana in a secure, locked place.
What type of cannabis can I consume?
The Cannabis Patient Center distributes marijuana to qualified medical patients in the form of a liquid, pill, topical cream, or oil concentrate (for use with vaporizers). Smoking dry herbs/marijuana flower is prohibited.
What are the Current Minnesota Laws regarding marijuana?
- Possession of 42.5 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200.
- Possession of 42.5 grams and above is considered a felony. Imprisonment of up to 30 years and a maximum fine of $1,000,00 is given, according to the amount of weed found during questioning.
- Possession of more than 1.4 grams inside one’s vehicle (except the trunk) is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Can I Consume Cannabis in My Car?
Can I grow my own marijuana in Minnesota?
Can I take My Meds to a Different State?
No. Medical marijuana patients may face federal and local charges of transporting marijuana if they cross state lines with the drug. This is true even if the states between which they are traveling allow medical marijuana. Should you need to travel with your marijuana, it would be best to contact the state’s Department of Health.
How Much Should Marijuana should I consume?
We are not doctors or physicians, and therefore you should always consult with a professional before using medical marijuana. And in any case, as a qualified medical marijuana patient in Minnesota all your cannabis medications will be dosed and issued by the CPC – you do not have control over the products that are available.
Should you have any other questions, feel free to contact us directly through our Facebook page.
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