MINNESOTA: Lawmakers, medical experts and law enforcement officials tracking the launch of Minnesota’s medical marijuana law got an earful Friday of the good and bad stories of the state’s new program.
Nearly three months in since medical cannabis went on sale in July, it’s a mixed bag: several parents who report their children’s lives have turned around due to the medicine after years of debilitating seizures, patients who have returned to the black market because the prices are too high and people who still can’t register due to the narrow list of qualifying conditions.
The task force overseeing the program met Friday for the first time since it launched this summer, with a sharp focus on the growing pains of Minnesota’s new medical marijuana economy — from patient’s struggles to afford the medication to the logistical hurdles that come with selling a drug that the federal government still bans.
Manny Munson-Regala, chief executive at the manufacturing company LeafLine Labs, said the federal government’s stance on marijuana — it’s classified as a Schedule I drug — has exacerbated production costs. Neither LeafLine nor Minnesota Medical Solutions can write off business expenses for tax purposes. Munson-Regala said his company pays about a 50 percent tax rate.