Minnesota’s 2020 legislative session is underway, and several cannabis-related bills have been introduced. While we are still eagerly awaiting House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s bill to legalize and regulate cannabis, another important bill needs your support. SF4255 would improve the medical cannabis program, including by allowing patients to vaporize cannabis in its natural, flower form.
Minnesota has some of the most expensive medical cannabis products in the nation, and many patients turn back to the illicit market as a result. Two of the four other states that once prohibited flower cannabis — Pennsylvania and New York — now allow it. Minnesota should, too.
The bill would also ease access in rural areas of the state by allowing dispensaries to operate mobile distribution units. This would save patients and their caregivers hours-long round trips.
Please write your lawmakers today to ask them to work to pass SF4255, and spread the word.
If you live in Minnesota, ask Senators Michelle Benson and Jim Abeler to improve Minnesota’s medical cannabis law.
A conference committee is winding down its work on possible revisions to Minnesota’s medical cannabis law, and we need your help to convince lawmakers to side with compassion.
Please call Senator Michelle Benson at 651-296-3219 Senator and Jim Abeler at 651-296-3733 TODAY to politely ask them to stand up for patients by including flower (whole plant cannabis) in the Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill.
Currently, only costly extracts are allowed, and many patients cannot continue to access their medicine because they cannot afford it. Allowing non-smoked flower will provide relief to more patients.
The conference committee is made up of five members from the House and five members from the Senate. Our allies have secured the House-side votes, but we need help getting two more senators to vote in favor of the compassionate provisions.
That's where you come in! Please call Senators Benson and Abeler and then share this message with members of your community, so that they, too, can speak out for compassion.
The Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine announced the department will implement all of the advisory board’s recommended changes to the medical marijuana program. They include:
- Allowing patients to use whole plant, flower cannabis via vaporization.
- Rewording the qualifying condition “severe chronic or intractable pain” to delete the phrase “in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.”
- Allowing patients to qualify if they are undergoing “addiction substitute therapy — opioid reduction.”
- Adding the following conditions to the program: cancer while in remission therapy, neurodegenerative diseases, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, and terminal illness.
- Eventually requiring minor patients to have recommendations from a pediatrician or other pediatric or adolescent health specialist. (This could be problematic due to the very small number of pediatricians who are recommending cannabis.)
The department will promulgate regulations with these changes on May 12, and they will then undergo legislative review.
These changes would have a major impact for Pennsylvania patients. Allowing cannabis in its flower form is crucial to affordability. And with the revised wording for severe pain, Pennsylvania will no longer steer pain patients to more dangerous medications, such as opiates.