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Officials launch medical cannabis survey to see who has need for weed

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Legalized medical marijuana is on its way to Minnesota, but now health officials are trying to find out how many people will actually use it.

The Minnesota Department of Health has issued a voluntary survey designed to gauge interest in cannabis among those with qualifying conditions, ahead of the drug's legalization for medical purposes on July 1.

The voluntary survey, which can be accessed here, is designed to give the department not just an idea of the appetite for medical marijuana across Minnesota, but also where demand is likely to be at its highest.

"This information will help us and the certified manufacturers refine plans and set up the program in a manner that best serves patients," Assistant Commissioner Manny Munson-Regala said in a press release.

Those who could potentially qualify for the drug include cancer patients who have severe or chronic pain, nausea or wasting. people with glaucoma, HIV/AIDS or Tourette's Syndrome, those with conditions causing seizures or muscle spasms, and people with terminal illnesses.

The Star Tribune reports that the state is up against a tight deadline to get infrastructure in place in time for the drug's legalization, and has had to push forward without some of the key information the survey is trying to obtain.

Last month the department selected Leafline Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions to be the state's two cannabis manufacturers, who will process the drug in pill or liquid form.

The two firms have decided there will be a dispensary in each of the state's eight congressional districts, despite not knowing exactly where the demand lies, a move which could leave people hours away from their nearest cannabis clinic, the Star Tribune says.

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