Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patient Registry

Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program and the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research


The design of the Minnesota registry program will begin with a patient’s diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition. Under the statute, qualifying medical conditions are cancer, severe or chronic pain, cachexia or severe wasting, glaucoma, HIV, Tourette’s syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year, if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe, vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting. It is important to note that cancer is a qualifying medical condition only if the illness or treatment produces vomiting or wasting.

Following a diagnosis, patient will send their application to the Minnesota Department of Health and will include a certification from the doctor confirming the diagnosis.

Then, the Minnesota Department of Health will issue a registry verification to the patient, healthcare practitioner, and manufacturer. After the verification of the registry, the healthcare practitioner will continue to treat the patient for the qualifying condition. The manufacturer will distribute medical cannabis to the patient and the patient will receive the medical cannabis from the manufacturer. Throughout this process the healthcare practitioner and the manufacture will send reports to the Minnesota Department of Health. The Minnesota Department of Health will then submit research reports to the legislature and major scientific journals.

Patients’ Responsibilities During Participation

As a condition of continued enrollment, the patient agrees to continue to receive regularly scheduled treatment for the qualified medical condition from their healthcare practitioner and report any changes in their qualifying medical condition to their healthcare practitioner. A patient can only receive medical cannabis from a registered manufacture, but is not required to receive medical cannabis product from only registered manufacturers.

Under Minnesota’s medical marijuana statute a patient can be charged with new criminal penalties. A patient or legal guardian of a patient who intentionally sells or otherwise transfers medical cannabis to a person other than a patient, designated registered caregiver or, if listed on the registry verification a patient or legal guardian of a patient, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years or by payment of a fine of not more than $3, 000, or both.

If a person intentionally makes a false statement to a law enforcement official about any fact or circumstance relating to the medical use of cannabis to avoid arrest or prosecution is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Healthcare Practitioners’ Responsibility

To participate in the registry program a patient must continue treatment with their healthcare practitioner have at least one visit per year verifying the qualifying condition.

If a healthcare petitioner knowingly refers a patient to a manufacturer or to a designated caregiver, who advertises as a manufacture, or who issues certifications while holding a financial interest in a manufacturer is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or by payment of a fine of not more than $1000, or both.

Medical Cannabis Task Force Responsibilities

The medical cannabis task force is responsible to recommend deadline extensions, impact assessment, and reports to the legislator.

For impact assessment the task force is to design and implement the program, provide information on the impact on the healthcare provider community, relay patient experiences, review the access and quality, relay the impact on law-enforcement and prosecution, create public awareness and perception, and provide information on unintended consequences.

The task force also has responsibilities that extend beyond the registration of the first two medical marijuana manufacturers. Starting in 2017 every two years the task force will create a full impact assessment. This assessment will include a cost assessment and recommendations whether to add or remove qualifying conditions.