Gov. Tim Walz (D) has taken important steps to preserve safe access to medical cannabis during this time of social distancing. Medical cannabis businesses have been allowed to remain open during the stay-at-home order. By executive order, the governor is permitting curbside pickup and telemedicine, and he has pushed back expiration dates on patient certifications and is allowing temporary caregivers.
While we commend the governor for these important measures, we are disappointed he has not allowed home delivery during the crisis. Please take a moment to thank the governor for what he’s already done, while urging him to allow delivery.
In the face of the pandemic, we are advised to stay at home and — when it’s necessary to go out — to maintain at least six feet of distance from others. During these difficult times, the safest way to obtain medical cannabis is contactless delivery. Medical cannabis patients shouldn’t have to put themselves in danger to access the medicine they depend on.
After you write the governor, you can go the extra mile by spreading the word to others, calling his office at 651-201-3400, or making an appeal on Twitter.
Legalization Appears Stalled Due to the Virus
When this year’s legislative session convened in February, there were high hopes that the House of Representatives would approve legalization this year. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) was expected to introduce a comprehensive legalization proposal based on principles he outlined that reflected stakeholder input, including from his "Be Heard on Cannabis" tour over the fall and winter.
Since then, life changed dramatically. Efforts to prevent transmission of novel coronavirus stalled legislative action. The legislature convened briefly in late March for a coronavirus relief bill, but it has otherwise recessed until mid-April. It appears we’ll need to shift our focus to passing in 2021.
Unfortunately, leadership in the Senate is behind the times. Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) has said the Republican caucus is strongly opposed. However, the entire legislature will be on the ballot in November, so there’s an opportunity to elect more lawmakers that recognize the folly of prohibition.
Stay tuned for a voter guide and opportunities to get engaged.
In the past week or two, our lives have changed dramatically.
As we strive to “flatten the curve,” schools have shuttered their doors. Those workplaces that can switch to remote work, including MPP, have done so. Hundreds of thousands of workers are newly unemployed. Tens of thousands of Americans have been diagnosed with the virus, and healthcare professionals are making heroic sacrifices.
Our hearts go out to each of you for all you are going through as we come together to reduce the death toll.
As some states roll out “Safer at Home” policies, they are recognizing people still need access to essentials, including medicine. MPP and allied organizations are working to make sure they do not lose sight of the fact that millions of Americans depend on cannabis as part of their treatment regimens.
We are urging governors and legislative leaders in states with medical cannabis and legalization laws to ensure access in a way that keeps everyone as safe as possible.
You can sign our petition here to add your voice to the plea for safe access.
Among the recommendations — which are similar to ones put out by our friends at Americans for Safe Access — are declaring cannabis businesses an essential service (keeping them open in case of a stay-at-home order), allowing delivery, allowing telemedicine, and relaxing bureaucratic requirements that could interfere with access.
We’ve also compiled a list of what measures states currently have in place for safe access in these uncertain times.
We wish you and your loved ones well. We’re all in this together.