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Health Dept. to host informational meeting Thursday in Willmar on medical cannabis

WILLMAR -- In an effort to educate the public about the state's new medical cannabis program, the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Medical Cannabis will host an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Health an...

WILLMAR - In an effort to educate the public about the state’s new medical cannabis program, the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Medical Cannabis will host an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building.
The meeting in Willmar is one of 11 being conducted around the state this fall to increase the public’s knowledge of the program and how it works.
Participants also will have the opportunity to provide input on whether intractable pain should be added to the list of medical conditions that qualify people to participate in the program.
Other topics to be covered include an update on the status of medical cannabis in Minnesota, the patient registry, research efforts associated with the program, product composition, delivery methods, laboratory testing, cannabis patient centers/manufacturers, and roles for patients, health care practitioners, parents/legal guardians and caregivers in the program.
According to Michelle Larson, director of the Office of Medical Cannabis, the upcoming meetings will be an opportunity to hear Minnesotans’ perspectives about the current state of the program and its future course.
“There has been a lot of interest in this program since it was created, and we know people have questions about how it works and how it will evolve,” Larson said. “We’re looking forward to meeting with people to answer their questions when we can. It’s also important for us to hear directly from Minnesotans about how the program can best serve them and their loved ones.”
At each session, participants will have the opportunity to provide input on the question of adding intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions.
Minnesota’s 2014 medical cannabis statute requires the health commissioner to make a determination on whether intractable pain should be added to the list of qualifying conditions before giving consideration to the addition of any other condition. Legislation passed in 2015 requires this determination be made by Jan. 1, 2016.
The Office of Medical Cannabis is responsible for organizing opportunities for public input on this question and has established an advisory panel to make a recommendation to the commissioner. Intractable pain is defined in statute as “a pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts.”

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