Patients in Minnesota fought to have smokable cannabis legalized. And in March 2022, smokable cannabis products will be available in Minnesota dispensaries. Now, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has authorized edibles.
But only for patients registered in the medical cannabis program. Minnesota has not legalized adult-use or recreational cannabis sales. Yet. House File 600 is the legislation that passed the MN House of Representatives in May 2021. With more last-minute amendments than a high school history report.
House File 600 to legalize adult-use of marijuana in Minnesota is not expected to pass the Senate. There is great political opposition to legalizing recreational cannabis. Evident by the fact that the HF 600 legislation has remained untouched since May 13, 2021.
Why are edibles and smokable cannabis such a big deal for patients? The push to get both categories of cannabis products legalized wasn’t easy in Minnesota. But offering patients the option of edible or smokable cannabis provides flexibility that medicinal users need and want.
And it is an important expansion of the Minnesota medical cannabis program. Currently, patients only have the option of tablets or capsules, tinctures, vape oil, topical creams, and ointments. Concentrated cannabis is not legalized in the state.
In most markets, edibles are about 30% less expensive than tinctures. But they are about at par in terms of price, with the cost of capsules and tablets. Edible cannabis can range from $10 to over $100 depending on the potency and type of product.
Certain strains of cannabis enjoy celebrity status when it comes to demand. Typically, they are strains that also have high CBG and CBD content. Both CBG and CBD may help patients who have symptoms related to inflammation. So, the value of those products is greater and so is the price.
Cannabis is expensive in Minnesota. And so is the cost of renewing a medical card annually, compared to other states. News outlets have reported that patients feel outpriced by the cost of cannabis. And some are concerned the cost of medical marijuana in Minnesota is pushing patients back to illegal channels.
Behind the expensive cost of marijuana in Minnesota, is a complex and punitive tax structure. Cannabis producers, processors, and retailers are heavily taxed. Not only that, but the only products approved for production and legal sale (until now) had to be heavily processed. It is expensive to manufacture vapes, capsules, and tinctures, compared to raw bud.
The legalization of smokable cannabis (whole flower) is good news for patients. Even those that don’t plan to use it. Because giving Minnesota cannabis producers the ability to sell trimmed and unrefined cannabis, will increase profitability. And sales, which can help lower the cost of processed products like tinctures, edibles, and vape oil.
Chewable edibles such as gummies have been legalized. Sales for edibles at Minnesota dispensaries will start in August 2022. Qualified patients who do not have a medical card can apply now.