Will a surge of new users take some pain out of medical marijuana prices?

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Minnesotans whose ongoing pain does not respond to other treatments can now try medical marijuana – if their doctor gives them the OK ... and they can afford it.

Monday was the first day that patients diagnosed with intractable pain could buy medical cannabis at one of the state's eight centers that sell marijuana.

Minnesota's health commissioner announced in December that pain would be added to the nine other conditions that qualify for treatment with cannabis.

Since no insurance companies cover medical marijuana, the cost to patients can be several hundred dollars per month. That's something the Health Department acknowledged when it announced that more people signed up for the state's medical cannabis program in July than in any other month since it started last summer.

Provider offers discounts

Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of the two companies approved to supply marijuana in Minnesota, announced Monday that it's offering a 20 percent discount on the first purchase by any newly approved patient trying cannabis to treat pain.

Their CEO, Dr. Kyle Kingsley, says the company wants to ease the financial burden for patients so they can see if marijuana helps their pain. The discounts are available through the end of the year at their centers in Bloomington, Minneapolis, Moorhead, and Rochester. (Minnesota's four other centers are run by LeafLine Labs.)

Minnesota Medical Solutions also says it has developed a first-of-its-kind plan to help patients transition from potentially addictive opioid painkillers to cannabis-based medicine.

Will the addition of patients with intractable pain bring down the out-of-pocket costs that are seen as the biggest drawback in Minnesota's program?

We'll see, but the Associated Press reports the new influx of patients – nearly 500 signed up in July – has raised hopes among patients and manufacturers that the additional demand will eventually bring down prices.

Next Up

Plainview

More than $12K donated to MN gym owner who refused to close

The small business is located in town in Wabasha County.

radio station, microphone

MPR, The Current launch new weekly segment called 'The Warming House'

The program will feature feel-good entertainment amid the pandemic.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Dec. 3 COVID-19 update: 92 deaths marks MN's 2nd-highest total

The deaths continue to surge amid the worst of the pandemic so far.

mohamed amin bayle idd booking photo

2 men charged in connection to fatal shooting at Bloomington apartment complex

Shakur Freed Muhammed, 22, of Hopkins, was fatally shot Monday morning.

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 9.11.36 AM

Hewing Hotel finds workaround to shutdown, delivering 7-course meal to rooms

The hotel will convert guest rooms into dining rooms for three-hour reservations.

Jan and Chris Kruse

'Dateline' episode will explore Minnesota woman's unsolved murder

Jan Pigman-Kruse was fatally shot in her bed in 2015. Her husband was acquitted in the case.

124906958_401361401236047_6293747214536025849_o

Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity, I.T. management professionals to the forefront

Enroll in a Master's course in one of these increasingly vital disciplines at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

mike freeman

Hennepin County will eliminate bail system for certain non-violent crimes

The reform is backed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Vikings vs. Jags is a battle of retool vs. rebuild

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 8.35.40 AM

More than 230,000 people have downloaded Minnesota's COVID exposure app

The more people who use the app, the more effective it is.

Related