Minnesota Lawmakers Reach Deal on Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Minnesota lawmakers said Thursday they agreed on a compromise bill to legalize medical marijuana, which Gov. Mark Dayton signaled he would sign into law.

The bill would create a patient registry and allow the Department of Health to conduct a study on the impact of medical marijuana. Patients would have to pay an annual enrollment fee to be included in the registry.

According to a news release, the bill adds more qualifying medical conditions to the list proposed earlier by the House, including chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting and severe wasting associated with cancer or a terminal illness.

The other covered conditions are:

  • glaucoma;
  • Tourette syndrome;
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS);
  • seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
  • severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis; and
  • Crohn’s disease.

The bill would establish two manufacturers and up to eight distribution sites across the state.

In a prepared statement, Dayton said he looks forward to signing the bill into law.

"This bill is citizen government at its best," the statement read. "It has been led by parents, who deeply love their children, are anguished by their pain, and insist their government try to help them. As a father and grandfather, I both understand and admire their devotion."

—Becky Bratu