By Veronica Morgan
Two medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved to dispense medication. The first, MinnMed, dispensed three prescriptions under the cover of darkness, shortly after midnight on July 1, 2015.
Three patients received a one-week supply, based on a medical evaluation performed to determine which form of medication would work best for the individuals involved. The clinic will then monitor their progress, and make adjustments, as they would do with any prescription medication.
One patient, Patrick McClellan was prescribed a small vaporizer to assist with major muscle spasms. “Like with any other medication, there will be some tweaks,” McClelland explained. “There will be time for patients to adjust to the medication, and for the doses to be correctly established.”
The two other patients were unable to be physically present, so their mothers accepted the prescriptions for them. Kim Kelsey was there on behalf of her 24-year-old epileptic son, the third woman declined to comment.
As for opening after midnight, the CEO of MinnMed, Dr. Kyle Kingsley felt there was no reason to make these patients wait nine more hours for the clinic to open. There was no indication of how these three patients were chosen to be the first to receive their meds. Kingsley did say he plans “a slow, gradual, ramp-up of patients.”
Joining MinnMed in providing Medicinal pot will be LeafLine Labs, in Eagan, Minnesota. Both clinics will be open for business during regular clinic hours. Expansion is expected, eventually bringing four clinics to each provider in the state. These will be located in Hibbing, Moorhead, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Eden Prairie and Rochester.
Minnesota has become the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. The regulations set forth by the state are some of the strictest in the US including District of Colombia. Minnesotans will only be able to purchase liquid, pill, or vaporized meds.
Furthermore, there are only nine acceptable “qualifying conditions,” that would allow patients to receive their medicine. There are currently 65 patients eligible, and approved to date.
State medical cannabis office director, Michelle Larson released a statement saying, “I thought it went really well…To see patients picking up cannabis on July 1 was our goal, and they did it so very happily.”