Nearly nine months have passed since the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program officially launched. Since then, the program has seen steady, consistent growth across the state – and patients are reporting significant improvements in their overall quality of life.
More than 1,000 patients have already enrolled in the program, now supported by over 500 registered health care practitioners and over 100 registered caregivers.
There are now three care centers open between Minnesota’s two companies registered to produce and distribute medical cannabis, with locations in Eagan, Minneapolis and Rochester. Another five locations are expected to open by mid-summer, in St. Cloud, Hibbing, St. Paul, Moorhead and in the West Metro.
As patients incorporate medical cannabis into their care plans, many of the results are very encouraging. It may not be a standalone cure for any condition, but medical cannabis is proving – in measurable ways – how it helps improve a patient’s quality of life.
Still, there are barriers to accessing the program we are working to overcome. While more doctors have registered, patients still report they are challenged to find a local medical professional to certify their eligibility to enroll in the program. Because insurance will not presently help defray the costs of this treatment, price also remains a concern for many patients. And there are still some antiquated state and federal laws that, if updated, could help responsibly encourage the program’s sustainability and expansion. As more patients enroll and more success stories are shared, these barriers will diminish.
Attendees at the upcoming Epilepsy & Seizures Wellness Expo will have the opportunity to learn more about how medical cannabis helps people living with epilepsy and seizure disorders. Michelle Larson, director of the Office of Medical Cannabis, will be presenting an update on the program at this event.
As we move towards the one-year anniversary of the Minnesota Medical Cannabis program, it’s exciting to look back on how far we’ve come. It’s also encouraging as we appreciate how much more there is for many more epilepsy patients to look forward to as this treatment grows in practice and proof.
Andrew Bachman, MD – Founder and CEO, LeafLine Labs
“When you know better, do better.” These words by Maya Angelou inspire Andrew Bachman’s approach to medicine and caregiving. Because after more than a decade working as an emergency medicine doctor, Bachman saw firsthand the shortcomings of available pharmaceutical therapies. This insight led him to research alternative and complementary options, including medical cannabis. Bachman’s vision for LeafLine Labs is to bring is to bring safe, consistent, and high-quality medical cannabis and compassionate care-delivery to the people of Minnesota. It’s a new model for health care, one grown from the roots of early medicine, that brings patients and caregivers together in the same space to facilitate more natural, compassionate interactions. A Minnesota native, Bachman completed his emergency medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center, received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Amherst College.
For more information, visit www.leaflinelabs.com