Minnesota's medical cannabis program to add edibles as new option

Minnesota's medical cannabis program is adding edibles as a new option for patients, the department of health announced Wednesday.

The Minnesota Department of Health said that it will approve infused edibles in the form of gummies and chews as a new medical cannabis delivery method in the state’s medical cannabis program. Current permitted delivery forms include pills, vapor oil, liquids, topicals, powdered mixtures, and orally dissolvable products, like lozenges.

According to MDH, the new delivery method will become effective Aug. 1, 2022. 

Later this month, the state will launch a rulemaking process that will outline requirements for labeling, safety messaging, packaging, and testing. 

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said that expanding delivery methods will create more options for those who cannot tolerate the currently available forms.

In March 2022, registered medical cannabis patients will also be eligible for dried raw, smokable cannabis, which was approved by the 2021 Minnesota Legislature. Officials said rulemaking for dried raw cannabis is also currently in process.

According to MDH, officials conducted a formal petition and comment process to solicit public input on potential qualifying medical conditions and delivery methods for medicine. Since 2016, petitioners have requested anxiety disorder or panic disorder as a qualifying medical condition. Each year it was denied due to lack of clinical evidence and the desire to avoid any unintended consequences. This year, the MDH Office of Medical Cannabis conducted an in-depth review, which included a research review of anxiety disorder as a qualifying medical condition. Ultimately, the addition was not approved due to a lack of scientific evidence to support effectiveness as well as concerns expressed by health care practitioners.

When the Minnesota Legislature authorized the creation of the state’s medical cannabis program, the law included nine conditions that qualified a patient to receive medical cannabis. Since then, the list of conditions has grown to 17.