Minnesota’s medical marijuana program has struggled for years as the flaws in its design have caused issue after issue.
New patients are leaving the program in droves, turning to the black market or prescription opioids because they cannot afford the processed pills and oils that are legal. Growers are losing millions because of a strict tax structure written into the law.
Lawmakers can fix this, but they might have to look beyond their home state for solutions. A slew of proposals at the State Capitol could save the manufacturers money and help them lower prices. Patients say they do not go far enough.
“We need the Legislature to make this a priority,” said Maren Schroeder, co-founder of Sensible Change Minnesota, a group that wants to expand access for the more than 15,000 medical marijuana patients in the state. “The patients can’t wait for incremental changes.”
Minnesota’s medical cannabis program is widely seen as one of the most restrictive in the country; the costly drugs are not insured and only patients with one of 13 severe conditions can use them. [Read more at Twin Cities Pioneer Press]