What is medical marijuana and how does it work? – Bemidji Pioneer

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Only those who have one of 13 severe conditions can enroll in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program. Some of those conditions include intractable pain, muscle spasms, cancer or terminal illness, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

See the full list here.

How do you sign up?

Patients who have a qualifying condition must have a doctor certify them. Then they must pay an enrollment fee to the state, which costs $200 unless the patient is on medical assistance, in which case they could pay a reduced fee of $50.

Patients must repeat this process every year.

But not all doctors take part. About 1,400 health care practitioners in Minnesota do, but the state does not provide a public list. Patients find them by word of mouth or research. One of the state’s two growers has a list of some certified doctors on its website.

How much does it cost?

Two companies are charged with growing, processing and selling medical marijuana in Minnesota.

LeafLine Labs sells its products from $28 to $228. At Minnesota Medical Solutions, product prices range from $29 to $299. Both manufacturers offer customer loyalty programs and 15 percent discounts for patients who receive medical assistance.

Insurance companies, however, do not cover medical marijuana and won’t do so until the federal Food and Drug Administration approves it, according to the Minnesota Council of Health Plans.

How much patients spend depends on the severity of their condition. Patients who spoke to the Pioneer Press spend anywhere from $200 to $700 per month.

Does it get you high?

Some products can, says Dr. Tom Arneson, research manager for the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis.

“The products are labeled based on the amounts of two cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC is intoxicating, CBD is not,” Arneson said. “Depending on the products, some have lots of THC and not much CBD. Some have the reverse — lots of CBD and very little THC. Some are balanced. So depending on the product, it is possible to get high.”

How long does it take to kick in?

It depends on how you take it, Arneson said. If you vaporize it, it takes just minutes to set in. If you take a pill, it can take an hour or two.

Where can you get it?

Each manufacturer runs four dispensaries across the state.

LeafLine Labs has locations in St. Paul, Eagan, St. Cloud and Hibbing.

Minnesota Medical Solutions has dispensaries in Minneapolis, Bloomington, Rochester and Moorhead.

Source: https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/business/healthcare/4582707-what-medical-marijuana-and-how-does-it-work

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