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Recreational marijuana is finally legal in the Land of 10,000 lakes, and so is telemedicine for Minnesota cannabis patients!

On May 30, 2023, the governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, signed a bill into law to legalize Minnesota cannabis for recreational use in the state. This law, backed by the Office of Cannabis Management, makes Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis in the U.S.

Minnesota cannabis legalization for recreational use came with a lot of improvements and room for the expansion of the state’s cannabis industry, which has been thriving since the Minnesota medical cannabis legalization in 2014.

And one of the most notable changes brought by the law is the approval of telemedicine in Minnesota for cannabis consultations.

Let’s take a look at all the relevant details and why you should embrace telemedicine in Minnesota for medical cannabis consultations. 

Is Cannabis Legal in Minnesota?

Yes, cannabis is now legal for both medical and recreational use in Minnesota.

The state aims to merge all its cannabis affairs, including the Medical Cannabis Program and the Office of Medical Cannabis, under the umbrella of the Office of Cannabis Management by 2025.

The new law brings some interesting changes for medical cannabis patients, thus:

      • From August 1, 2023, patients can use telemedicine services for their initial certification consultation with a certified health care practitioner.
      • From July 1, 2023, Minnesota cannabis patients will no longer have to pay an annual enrollment fee.
      • From March 1, 2025, patients will get recertifications for their qualifying medical conditions every three years instead of every year.
      • The law lowers the age for registered caregivers to buy cannabis flowers from 21 to 18. This law will take effect from March 1, 2025.

    On a broader scale, the 321-page bill is exhaustive. However, one thing is clear: the bill provides abundant merits for Minnesota medical cannabis patients over recreational consumers

    Minnesota cannabis legalization makes the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program and its provisions more attractive, beneficial, and accessible for medical cannabis patients.

    For instance, where patients can purchase top-shelf cannabis products tax-free, recreational cannabis users will have to pay a 10% tax to purchase regular cannabis products.

    More so, with the approval of telemedicine in Minnesota for medical cannabis patients, patients won’t have to book physical consultations for their initial certifications.

    You can read StarTribune’s detailed breakdown of Minnesota’s marijuana legalization law to learn more. 

    Telemedicine in Minnesota

    Minnesota legalized medical cannabis in 2014. But unlike many states with a medical cannabis program, Minnesota medical cannabis patients did not have access to telehealth services for cannabis consultations.

    And it was for a good reason; the state did not have comprehensive laws to encompass and guide all the necessary pieces of medical services that could intersect with teleservices. 

    Without crucial laws, dubious telehealth services can establish their practices and rip Minnesota medical cannabis patients off their hard-earned money.  

    As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until 2015 that the state enacted the Minnesota Telemedicine Act. Nevertheless, this act did not make clear provisions for Minnesota cannabis patients.

    In 2020, the state’s legislative system approved some amendments to the Minnesota Telemedicine Act to accommodate patient assessment, pharmacist consult, and medical cannabis certification via telemedicine.

    However, this amendment was only in effect during Minnesota’s peacetime emergency—due to COVID-19—which lasted for barely a year and a half, from May 2020 to July 2021.

    Waivers allowed some telemedicine services to remain in place beyond the end of the peacetime emergency. However, the waivers were not applicable to medical cannabis telehealth services. 

     

    Telemedicine for Minnesota Medical Cannabis Consultations

    The  2020 amendment of the Minnesota telemedicine act made provisions for telehealth consultations for medical cannabis patients. 

    These provisions allowed the patients to keep getting the high-quality medical cannabis care they need to manage their conditions in the era of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    These provisions accounted for Minnesota medical cannabis patients in two parts: 

    Patient Assessments for Medical Cannabis Certification

    This provision allows healthcare practitioners to use telehealth channels via telephone, videoconference, or other remote means to conduct patients’ assessments.

    They could also issue annual recertifications to patients who have qualifying medical conditions, allowing them to enroll in the Minnesota cannabis program. 

    Pharmacist Consult for Medical Cannabis

    This provision allows pharmacists to hold remote consultations with a patient via videoconferencing or similar channels to determine the proper dosage of medical cannabis applicable to the patient.

    Both provisions reiterate the need for the service providers to prioritize patient privacy during consultations.

    These provisions offered significant benefits to Minnesota medical cannabis patients during the peacetime emergency. 

    Unfortunately, the amendment stipulated that the provisions would have to end anytime the Minnesota government terminates the emergency. 

    Minnesota Cannabis Legalization Fully Establishes Telemedicine for Medical Cannabis Consultation

    The impact of telemedicine during the peacetime emergency cannot easily be written off. 

    Therefore, it’s no surprise that Minnesota legislators made simultaneous efforts to smoothen the rough edges of telemedicine for medical cannabis consultation just as they were finetuning the terms of Minnesota cannabis legalization.

    Eventually, when the Minnesota cannabis legalization bill was finally signed into law, one of its key programs was allowing patients to schedule their initial certification consultation with healthcare practitioners through authorized telehealth services.

    This provision resolutely stamps the legalization of telemedicine in Minnesota for medical cannabis patients. 

    Minnesota Cannabis Telemedicine: What Does It Mean for Medical Cannabis Patients?

    From cost savings to better quality of life, telehealth for medical cannabis consultations is a game changer that every Minnesota MMJ patient must maximize to reap all the benefits of Minnesota medical cannabis.

    With Minnesota cannabis legalization now finalized, telemedicine for medical cannabis patients is set to commence on August 1, 2023.

    This means that:

     

        • You can now book an online appointment with a Minnesota-licensed physician for your initial certificate consultation via reputable MMJ telehealth service providers from the comfort of your home:
              • During the online consultation, the physician assesses you to determine if you have a qualifying medical condition.
              • If you have a qualifying medical condition, the physician will certify you for the state’s medical cannabis program and enroll you in the state’s medical cannabis registry.
        • For a hassle-free experience, you can conclude all your recertification or re-enrollment processes online via reputable telemedicine services.

        Telemedicine is absolutely the best option for medical marijuana consultations in Minnesota.

        This is especially true for patients who are not fit enough to leave their homes at will or are not keen on bearing the costs of visiting and wasting time at a healthcare center for their initial certificate consultations.

        If you have been putting off enrolling with MN medical cannabis program due to any number of inconveniences, telemedicine will provide answers to all your problems in the shortest time possible! 

        Can I Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online in Minnesota?

        While other states have medical marijuana cards, Minnesota does not make provisions for medical marijuana cards at the moment.

        As a registered MMJ patient, you will have to complete and submit a patient self-evaluation online via your medical cannabis registry account.

        The pharmacist attending to you at any given medical cannabis dispensary will review your account before selling medical cannabis to you, and you must go along with your government-issued photo ID. 

        Elevate Holistics: The Best of Telemedicine in Minnesota

        Elevate Holistics is the telemedicine provider of choice for over 100,000 medical cannabis patients across 15 states.

        Our reputation is founded on our easy-to-use platform, prioritizing our patient’s needs, our compliant data protection, competitive pricing without breaking quality, and most importantly, the stream of excellent reviews and referrals from satisfied patients spreading our message to others who would like to embrace a more natural living.

        Starting in the fall of this year, in just three quick and easy steps, we can help you enroll in the Minnesota medical cannabis program within 15 minutes from the comfort of your home.

        As soon as we go live in Minnesota, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, you can book an appointment for an MMJ card in any of the other states we service by clicking here or the button below.

        Reap all the benefits of Minnesota medical marijuana.

        Lower prices, higher possession limits, and big savings. Get your MMJ card today.

        Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

        Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

        About the author

        Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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