(FOX 9) - The number of patients participating in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program has increased 20 percent since this time last year, according to the latest data released by the state.
The Office of Medical Cannabis released its quarterly update on the state’s medical cannabis program Wednesday. The data showed number of patients enrolled in the patient registry has increased steadily since the program began distributing medical cannabis in July 2015.
As of March 31, 2020, there were 19,075 patients actively enrolled in the patient registry, a up from 15,867 as of March 31, 2019. The average age of registered patients is 48.6 years old.
The majority of enrolled patients—68 percent—come from or near the Twin Cities metro, according to the data.
Only 14 percent of patients come from the northern tier of the state, which includes the Duluth, Brainerd, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and East Grand Forks communities. Eleven percent of patients come from southern Minnesota, which includes the Rochester, Mankato and Willmar areas and six percent come from the St. Cloud region
The number of health care practitioners who can certify a patient’s qualifying medical condition for medical cannabis use has continued to increase year after year. There are currently 1,738 health care practitioners registered with the state medical cannabis program, up 16 percent from March 2019.
According to the latest data, the three most frequently certified qualifying medical conditions are as follows:
- Intractable pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis