Minnesota: New Rules Expanding Patients’ Access to Medical Cannabis Take Effect

Saint Paul, MN: Rules expanding the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access took effect earlier this month.

The new regulations permit physicians to authorize medical cannabis access to patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“As we continue to learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis, it’s important that we add this therapy option as a potential treatment to relieve conditions that can be debilitating,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham in a press release.

Data published last year in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology reported that IBS patients “perceive symptom benefits and report decreased emergency room visits without serious adverse effects” after using cannabis products.

Separate data published in 2020 reported that cannabis inhalation is associated with temporary reductions in perceived OCD symptoms among patients diagnosed with the disorder.

Over 40,000 Minnesotans are registered with the state to access medical cannabis products.
In May, Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation into law legalizing marijuana use for adults. Those age 21 or older may legally begin possessing cannabis on August 1st.

Additional information on Minnesota’s medical cannabis program is available from NORML.