According to state approved manufacturers in Minnesota, patients seeking medical marijuana on July 1 can expect to pay between $100 and $500 a month for their medicine. With no chance of insurance covering any of this bill, this cost will undoubtedly leave some families in a bind. These costs are a direct result of the state’s strict medical marijuana framework, which is one of the most complex and unique in the country. The hefty cost of the medicine is on top of the patient registration fee of $200 to be paid annually. The annual registration fee may be dropped to $50 for those who qualify for public programs.
Under Minnesota’s medical marijuana laws, marijuana can not be smoked or sold in flower form. This requires manufacturers to acquire high dollar extraction technologies and machinery to produce infused pills, oils, and concentrated forms, thus increasing the price of the product. Complex security rules and transportation logistics from production facilities to the eight approve dispensary also adds up.
“At the upper end, it would be impossible. I don’t have $500 left over at the end of the month. That’s over half my mortgage.”
said Sarah Wellington, a hopeful medical marijuana patient and St. Paul middle school teacher with multiple sclerosis.
There are only two licensed medical marijuana producers in the entire state, Minnesota Medical Solutions and LeafLine Labs, and both have promised to establish different pricing plans for patients who simply cannot afford medication. Costs will vary depending on the medical condition, and how much medication will be needed to treat the symptoms.
Permitting medical cannabis to be sold in the smoke-able flower form would help to greatly alleviate out-of-pocket patient costs, but for now the law simply will not allow it.
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