Lack of Outreach Undermining Minnesota’s MMJ Program

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One of Minnesota’s two medical marijuana license holders estimated recently that under the state’s current list of approved conditions, there could be some 300,000 eligible patients in the state who simply don’t know about the program because of a lack of information and outreach.

“There’s a huge chunk of patients who just don’t know this program exists,” Manny Munson-Regala, CEO of Leafline Labs, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Beginning in August, the state’s approved conditions list will include intractable pain, which will almost certainly increase the number of eligible patients far beyond the 300,000 that Munson-Regala said could be eligible now.

As of Friday, just 968 medical marijuana patients were registered in Minnesota, according to the state health department’s Office of Medical Cannabis. But the number of patients who actually purchase medical cannabis could be much lower because of its high cost, estimated to be between $200 and $1,000 per month. One state doctor guessed that 20-30% of his medical marijuana patients haven’t bought any because it is too expensive, the Tribune reported.

That means LeafLine and Minnesota Medical Solutions may have to simply ramp up educational efforts to solve the patient pool problem that’s been dogging the two companies since the state’s MMJ program began.