Dr. Kyle Kingsley stands in the airy waiting room of Minnesota Medical Solutions’ patient care center in downtown Minneapolis. This will be the state’s first medical marijuana clinic when it opens its doors at midnight Wednesday.
“We’re thrilled to introduce a new era here,” said Kingsley, the company’s CEO.
The dispensary, located at the renovated League of Catholic Women building on S. 9th Street, has booked at least 15 appointments on July 1, from patients who have been waiting anxiously for Minnesota to join almost two dozen other states with legal medical cannabis programs.
As of Friday, 139 patients had been certified to use medical marijuana, and out of that number, 65 have paid their $200 annual enrollment fee to the state, finished their paperwork with the Health Department’s Office of Medical Cannabis and are eligible to buy medical marijuana legally. Another 203 doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners have registered with the state to certify their patients to use medical cannabis as of Friday.
Those first patients can expect tight security — only patients, parents and caregivers will be allowed inside the clinic — and an hourlong consultation with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist, who will discuss what dosage and which delivery system might work best for their condition. Minnesota law restricts medical cannabis to patients suffering from nine serious medical conditions, and allows the drug to be dispensed only as a pill or liquid.
The price of a one-month supply of medical cannabis will range from $300 to $600 or more, depending on the patient’s condition and the strength of the dose. Since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, most banks and credit card companies are reluctant to get involved with cannabis transactions. Patients will pay for their prescriptions in cash, without the help of insurance.
The state’s second cannabis clinic, operated by LeafLine Labs, will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Eagan. Six more clinics will open in coming months in St. Paul, Rochester, St. Cloud, Moorhead, Hibbing and Eden Prairie.
For more information about the program or the clinics, visit the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis at mn.gov/medicalcannabis.