How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota

Overview
Minnesotans with certain medical conditions may now qualify for a medical marijuana card. The program recently expanded to include other qualifying conditions. Interested residents should look at our full guide to see if they are eligible. Follow up with your state department and comply with all application directives.
State Program
Approved on
MAY 29, 2014
Online Application
YES
MD Evaluation
Required
Yes
Card Validity
12Months
Patient Registry fee
$200
Phone:
(651) 201-5598 Metro (844) 879-3381 Non-metro
Official Gov Site:
health.state.mn.us

CONSULTATION FEE RANGE

  • $150 – $250

MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS

  • 90-DAY PURCHASING LIMIT – PRECISE AMOUNT DETERMINED BY THE DISPENSARY

HOME CULTIVATION?

  • NO

MINIMUM AGE LIMIT

  • 18

When it first became possible to get an MN medical card, MMJ patients could only use the substance if they had one of nine qualifying conditions. At the time, it was considered one of the country’s strictest and most conservative medical marijuana programs.

The program has added several other conditions since. These include chronic/intractable pain, PTSD, autism, and obstructive sleep apnea. The program’s limited capacity meant that MMJ dispensaries in Minnesota did not fare well initially. Indeed, the first dispensaries lost around $11 million in the first two years of sales.

Things improved as the program became more established. The number of qualifying patients swelled, and additional MMJ dispensaries opened. Nowadays, getting an MN medical card is much easier than when the program first launched. Keep reading to learn how to earn your medical marijuana card. First, though, let’s check out the state’s cannabis laws, which include a very interesting development.

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Minnesota Medical Marijuana Laws

In 1976, Minnesota effectively decriminalized the possession of up to 42.5 grams of weed, reducing the penalty to a minor misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $200. However, if you’re caught with more than this amount, the offense becomes a felony. This means a potential prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

It is also a minor misdemeanor to illegally sell any amount of marijuana in Minnesota. You will receive a $200 fine if caught. If the amount is over 42.5 grams, it is a felony with a possible five-year prison sentence if convicted.

The penalties for the cultivation of cannabis are based on the aggregate weight of the plants found. Since possessing over 1.5 ounces of weed is a felony, you can expect serious jail time if you grow a single plant!

Interestingly, it seems as if Minnesota has accidentally legalized THC food and drinks derived from hemp. There’s a strong belief that Republican lawmakers either didn’t read Statute 151.72, which was signed into law in July 2022, or didn’t grasp the implications of the legislation. It allows up to 5mg of THC per serving and 50mg of THC per product.

If you plan to use marijuana for medical reasons and don’t want to avail of Statute 151.72, getting the legal protection afforded by an MMJ card is essential. Here’s how to get yours in Minnesota.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota

Obtaining a medical card in Minnesota is relatively straightforward, as you’re about to find out.

Step 1 – Get in Touch with an MN Healthcare Provider

Retrieve your medical records and contact a physician or other healthcare professional. In the program’s early days, 30 doctors were responsible for certifying half of all enrolled patients! Thankfully, it is a little easier to find a cannabis-friendly physician these days.

minnesota medical marijuana

Only doctors, physician assistants, or advanced practice registered nurses can certify that you have a qualifying medical condition. We will provide a list of these conditions a little later.

You must provide an email address for the healthcare provider’s office. This is because they register you with the state’s online Medical Cannabis Patient Registry. Complete, sign, and bring the Patient E-mail Acknowledgement Form to the physician. It states that you will receive an email notification from the office explaining how to proceed with the application.

*Please note that healthcare providers are NOT required by law to review your records or issue you a marijuana certification. This is the case even if you are a patient with a documented qualifying condition. Have trouble finding a qualified healthcare provider willing to look over your information? If so, feel free to contact us directly for recommendations.

Step 2 – Schedule a Consultation

During the assessment, the doctor will look through your medical records. They will also discuss why you believe you require MMJ for your condition.

Once the physician certifies you, expect an email from the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis.

We advise you to check your spam and junk folders if you don’t receive the email within a few days, as it contains the link required to register online. It also has a vital information sheet you should read before registering.

The certification lasts 90 days, so ensure you complete the process within this timeframe. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends completing your application within the first 60 days of certification.

Step 3 – Sign Up for a Minnesota State Government Account

Once you have received the email link, you must register online. Here’s what you will require to complete the registration:

  • The email link
  • Your full legal name
  • Your address and phone number
  • A government-issued ID showing proof of MN residency. Examples include your state of Minnesota ID or driver’s license. You can upload a photo from your phone.
  • Your government assistance plan ID. This can consist of an ID for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD), Medical Assistance, CHAMPVA, Veteran Affairs, Indian Health Service, or Medicaid ID. You’ll have to scan the ID in a format that’s no larger than 3 MB. Medicare Cards are NOT accepted.
  • A credit card to pay the non-refundable Registration Fee.
  • The Patient Self-Evaluation Report, which is accessible in your account in the registry.

While this may seem like a lot, the process is easy and shouldn’t take long. Once you have finished the Patient Self-Evaluation Report, you will receive another verification email. It states that your account is approved, and you are now eligible to visit a Cannabis Patient Center (CPC).

medical marijuana minnesota

Please note that Minnesota MMJ patients do NOT receive a physical card. You can print a verification document if you want to prove your participation in the program.

Step 4 – Visit a Dispensary

Once you receive your approval email, you may visit the CPC. Make sure you bring your appointment summary and list of current medications.

Who Can Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in MN?

Only state residents can apply for a medical marijuana card in MN. You must provide proof of residency. Furthermore, you need to be 18+ and have one of the qualifying medical conditions.

Cost of MMJ Card in MN

The medical marijuana card cost in MN includes a $200 fee and a doctor’s consultation fee, often in the $200 region.

Reduced application/renewal fees are available for patients on Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, Medicaid, MNCare, IHS, or CHAMPVA. You must provide a valid ID. Those who can produce this documentation may benefit from a reduced fee of $50.

MN MMJ Card Qualifying Conditions

The list of MN medical marijuana card qualifying conditions includes the following:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer*
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
  • Sickle cell disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Tourette syndrome
  • ALS
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy)
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms (including those associated with multiple sclerosis)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease)
  • Terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of less than one year*
  • Intractable pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (patients must meet DSM-5 criteria)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

*Only those with cancer or a terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year qualify. This is if your disease or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in MN?

The MMJ program processes enrollments in the order they are received. As a result, it could take up to 30 days to receive approval.

How to Renew My Minnesota Medical Card?

If you successfully enroll in the state’s medical marijuana program, your MMJ card is valid for one year. Renewing your card involves paying the $200 fee and ensuring a licensed physician re-certifies your condition.

The Minnesota Department of Health will send you reminder emails 60 days and 30 days before your existing MMJ card is due to expire. You must complete the re-enrollment application and pay via the certification link that’s sent to you once approved by a doctor.

Other Information on the MN Medical Marijuana License Process

Hopefully, we have clearly outlined the steps to apply for medical marijuana in Minnesota. If you have additional concerns, here are some of the most common questions regarding medical cannabis use in the state.

What Types of Cannabis Can I Purchase in MN?

At one time, qualified medical patients could only buy marijuana in specific forms. These included liquids, pills, creams, oil concentrates, and lozenges. However, state lawmakers eventually voted to allow patients to smoke dry marijuana flower. This change came into effect in 2022. Therefore, MMJ patients in Minnesota can now purchase virtually any type of marijuana.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in MN Online

Prospective MMJ patients can schedule an appointment with a physician online. These consultations rarely take more than 15 minutes, and if you receive approval, you can proceed with your application immediately.

Can I Register My Child for Medical Marijuana in MN?

Yes. Parents and legal guardians can act on behalf of minors who qualify for the program. They must include a copy of their government-issued photo ID and the patient’s legal guardianship papers or birth certificate with the application.

Where Can I Purchase MMJ in Minnesota?

At the time of writing, there are 14 cannabis patient centers in Minnesota. The only two providers at present are Green Good and RISE. Unfortunately, MMJ patients in certain parts of Minnesota must drive long distances to get their medication. A four-hour round trip is not uncommon for some people.

How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?

MMJ patients in Minnesota can buy a maximum of a 90-day supply. As such, there is no specific limit on how much you can buy or possess as it can vary from one patient to the next.

When your CPC medical cannabis supply runs out, you must log into your Patient Account and complete an additional Patient Self Evaluation Form. Once completed, you may visit the CPC again to receive your next supply of medication.

Can You Grow Marijuana in Minnesota with a Medical Marijuana Card?

No. The existing laws make no provision for home cultivation.

Where Can I Use My MMJ?

It is important to remember that when smoking in public, the assumption is that you are using it for recreational use. You should consume your medicine responsibly, in the safety of your home or a private residence. Also, the laws of Minnesota require you to store your marijuana in a secure, locked place. It is illegal to use the substance in your car.

Can I Take My MMJ to a Different State?

No. Medical marijuana patients may face federal and local charges of transporting marijuana if they cross state lines with the drug. This is true even if the states between which they are traveling allow medical marijuana. Should you need to travel with your cannabis, it is best to contact the state’s Department of Health.

Furthermore, Minnesota does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards.

What Are the Caregiver Rules?

The Minnesota program allows caregivers, legal guardians, spouses, and parents to assist patients with registration. They can also pick up MMJ on behalf of the patient. There is a separate caregiver application process, which includes a criminal background check.

What If I Lose My Medical Card in Minnesota?

As the Minnesota Department of Health doesn’t issue MMJ cards, you can’t actually lose one! You can always print a new verification document by accessing your Registry account.

When Did Medical Marijuana in Minnesota Become Legal?

The Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act came into being on May 29, 2014. On that day, Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill into law legalizing MMJ for patients with one of nine qualifying conditions. Program registration began in June 2015, with patients accessing medical marijuana the following month.

It was considered the nation’s most restrictive MMJ program at the time. Further qualifying conditions were added later, and it is now easier to apply for medical marijuana than it was initially.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Minneapolis & Saint Paul

If you live in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, you should find it easy to locate a cannabis-friendly physician if you decide not to seek an online appointment. RISE has an MMJ dispensary at 550 Vandalia Street in Saint Paul, while Green Goods has its Minneapolis dispensary at 207 South 9th Street.

MMJ Card for Veterans in MN

Veterans could qualify for a significant reduction in the annual enrollment fee. If you receive VA dependency or veteran disability benefits, the fee is reduced to $50.

Final Thoughts on Getting a Minnesota Medical Marijuana Card

In the beginning, the Minnesota medical marijuana program was extremely restrictive, with limited qualifying conditions and consumption methods. Fortunately, it has expanded to the point where one could classify it as a reasonable MMJ program. It is now possible to smoke dry marijuana flower as an MMJ patient.

While the state hasn’t legalized recreational marijuana, it does allow the purchase of THC-infused food and drinks with a maximum serving of 5mg THC. In this case, the THC must come from hemp.

Although it is an intriguing development, the amount of THC one can use is well below what many people consume to help with medical conditions. Therefore, you must apply for an MMJ card in Minnesota if you plan to use weed to help with a medical issue.

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Article Sources:
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