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How to Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Minnesota

Dr Abraham Benavides


Dr Abraham Benavides

Medical Doctor

Are you in the market for getting your medical marijuana card in Minnesota? You came to the right place because we are about to break down all the details involved in the process. 

Getting your card gains you access to dispensaries which are currently the only places you can legally buy marijuana in MN. 

So keep reading to find out just how to get your Minnesota medical marijuana card.

MN Medical program

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Program

The legislation for medical cannabis in Minnesota was signed into law in May of 2014. 

The program launched in July 2015. This is when patients could start to buy products from the state. Patients must first register with the state medical cannabis program. 

By March of 2017 Minnesota had over 5,000 people on the medical cannabis patient registry. By 2020 that number has grown to surpass 30,000 patients. 

Originally, the medical cannabis program had a small list of 9 qualifying conditions. They included the most severe of conditions. Like cancer, AIDS, ALS, and terminal illness. 

But starting in 2016, new conditions got added to the list. Intractable pain was the first to join the rest of the qualifying conditions. Followed by: 

  • PTSD
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Motor or vocal tic disorder

When the program first launched, there were only three types of approved medication. Patients could buy pills, vapor oil, and liquid forms of medical cannabis. But since then, new delivery methods have gotten approved. 

Now, patients of the Minnesota medical marijuana program can buy the following:

  • topicals
  • water-soluble cannabinoid multi-particulates (like powders or sprinkles)
  • orally dissolvable products (like lozenges, mints, and tablets)
  • dried cannabis flower
  • infused edibles

There are 13 different licensed dispensaries. These are the locations where patients can legally purchase medical cannabis. 

In March 2020, Governor Tim Walz issued executive order 20-26. It was an emergency executive order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It gave the Office of Medical Cannabis temporary measures to protect the program and patients. 

Some of the notable measures included:

  • The option for patients to use telemedicine to consult with a licensed medical marijuana doctor
  • Allowing for curbside pickup of medication by patients and caregivers
  • Approval of temporary caregivers for patients without needing physician approval or a background check

Most of these temporary measures became permanent components of the program. The 2021 Minnesota legislature approved them. And Governor Walz then signed them into law.


Qualifying for Medical Marijuana In MN

To qualify for medical marijuana in Minnesota you must meet certain requirements. 

First, you must be a legal resident of MN, and secondly, you need to be at least 18 years of age. Lastly, you need to be diagnosed with one of the MN qualifying medical conditions – scroll down for the list. 

If you are a minor you can still apply for the program. But you will need the help of a registered caregiver. 

A caregiver is a person who assists a medical marijuana patient with their treatment. They can assist with completing the application and paying fees. They can also help by buying or transporting medication. And they may even help with administering the medication to the patient. 

Only parents or legal guardians of patients can serve as caregivers. They will be asked to supply a copy of proof of legal guardianship. Acceptable forms of proof of guardianship include:

  • A birth certificate
  • An adoption certificate
  • Other legal guardian documentation

Your medical marijuana doctor needs to indicate that you will have a caregiver on your application. When you meet with them to get certified you can let them know who your caregiver will be. Once certified, you will be able to officially designate a parent or legal guardian. 

After designation, your parent or guardian will receive an email. The email should contain a registration link. 

This link will ask for some information that includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Government-issued photo ID

Adults who need assistance with their medication can also designate a caregiver. Legally married spouses of patients qualify to be their caregivers. They will need to upload a copy of the marriage certificate to prove the relationship. 

Just like for minor patients, adults who wish to have a caregiver should let their physician know. It is best to bring it up during the certification consultation. 

If certified, a patient can formally designate their spouse as their caregiver. Then, their spouse will receive an email with a registration link. 

Parental and spousal caregivers may need to present proof of ID when picking up medical cannabis. 

Parents or spouses do not need to complete a background check for approval as a caregiver. When a patient adds a caregiver to their account the program will notify them. The caregiver will receive an email and a prompt to set up their own account. 

Anyone applying to be a caregiver for a patient who is not their child or spouse will be required to complete a criminal background check. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is responsible for this process. 

Caregivers must complete a background check every two years to remain in the program. Active caregivers receive a renewal notice. 

To complete the background check you must submit a completed consent form. And a check for $15, payable to the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This is the background check fee. And you need to include an empty envelope with the correct address and postage. 

The Bureau uses the envelope to send your completed background check results to the Office of Medical Cannabis. 

Caregivers get notified by email once their account is approved. After this, they can assist their patient with cannabis treatment.

MN Medical card

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions List

The state has a list of qualifying medical conditions for the program. The qualifying conditions are:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Autism spectrum disorder 
  • Cancer
  • Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Chron’s disease
  • Intractable pain
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures, including epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Tourette syndrome

Cancer and terminal illnesses are only qualifying if they produce additional symptoms. To qualify a patient for treatment, these conditions must include:

  • severe or chronic pain
  • nausea or severe vomiting
  • cachexia or severe wasting

These conditions alone do not make a person eligible for medical cannabis. Having a condition on the list is just one part of qualifying for medical marijuana treatment. Patients must also be a resident of the state, be 18 or older (or have a caregiver), and receive a written certification from a physician. 

There is a petition process for adding new conditions to the list. The Office of Medical Cannabis is accepting public written comments to add them. The current petitions under consideration are for:

  • Gastroparesis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (with and without diarrhea)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Opioid Use Disorder

The MN Department of Health accepts petitions from the public every year. They accept them in June and July. These petitions are considered by the program to add qualifying conditions and delivery methods.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card In Minnesota

The first thing you need to do to get a medical marijuana card in Minnesota is see a board-certified physician. They need to be someone licensed to practice in MN. 

They are going to see if you are eligible for medical marijuana treatment. If they decide you are, then they will give you a certification. 

You can get your certification in two ways. You can meet with a medical marijuana doctor offline. Or, you can consult with one online. 

Doing this online is usually the fastest, most convenient, and cheapest approach. Plus, the telehealth services that allow you to meet online offer money-back guarantees. That way if you don’t get a recommendation you don’t have to worry about wasting any of your hard-earned money. 

To get your medical marijuana card in Minnesota just follow this three-step process below:

1. Consult With A MN Certified Healthcare Professional

This is the only step you can choose to complete via telehealth or an in-person appointment. Either way, you will consult with a medical marijuana doctor. 

They will speak with you about your health concerns and why you are considering medical marijuana. And they can answer any questions you may have. 

We recommend checking out Leafwell or Veriheal to do this step online for a swift approval at the ($199) lowest cost, all while your sat in your pyjamas!

If you decide to go to an in-person appointment you need to find a Minnesota-licensed physician. Or you can meet with a qualified physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse. 

The Medical Cannabis Program does not have a list of the health care practitioners that participate in the program. But, you will need to do research on your own to find someone to meet with who is registered to certify patients for the program. 

However, If you use Leafwell or Veriheal you will be automatically connected to a health care practitioner licensed to practice in MN. 

And, they deal with medical marijuana patients regularly. So they know the ins and outs of the program at a state level. As well as what types of questions prospective patients usually ask. 

Because of their familiarity and expertise with cannabis, online appointments are usually done within about 15 minutes. 

You don’t have to hassle with finding a doctor on your own. And you don’t have to worry about adjusting schedules and driving to offices in the middle of town. 

You can attend your consultation with your morning coffee all without leaving the kitchen. And you know if you are approved by the time you hang up the video call. 

Remember, if you are not approved your card doesn’t get charged. So the most you’re out of is about 15 minutes of your time. 

During your appointment, you will need to provide your doctor with a valid email address. This is the email address they will provide to the program once they certify you. 

You will receive all future communications from the program through this email. Your enrollment application link is sent to this email. 

At the end of your appointment, you should ask your doctor for an appointment summary that lists all of your current medications. If approved, you will need to take this to your initial visit to a dispensary. 

2. Complete MN State Application

After you meet with a physician to get certified, the doctor will submit your patient details to the state. 

Keep an eye out for your enrollment email so you can start the process right away. Your certification will expire if you do not submit your state application within 90 days. 

The program asks patients to submit a completed application within 60 days of certification. Applications can take up to 30 days to process. 

If the state decides to approve your application they will email you a unique link to complete your state application. You need to follow the link to enroll. This is when you can add your registered caregiver if needed. 

You will need a government-issued photo identification, driver’s license, or passport to successfully register. Be sure to gather the required documents prior to starting your application. 

You will also need a credit or debit card, or the routing information for a bank account you can use to pay the annual enrollment fees. It costs $200 for patients to enroll with the state. If you are a low-income or disabled patient you may qualify for a reduced fee of $50. 

After you pay the fees, you will receive a payment confirmation by email. Your application will be reviewed by program staff. It can take up to 30 days before the review process is complete. You will receive another email as soon as the process is complete.

MN Medical Marijuana

Finalize The MN Patient Self-Evaluation Form

At this point, you are so close to being a patient and legally medicating with cannabis. 

But, before you can receive your certification you need to complete a patient self-evaluation document online. A registered caregiver can complete this form for their patient. 

A new self-evaluation form must be completed every time cannabis is purchased. Once this is complete you can schedule an appointment to shop at your chosen dispensary. 

Bring your photo ID, a list of your prescribed medications, and the visit summary from the physician who certified you for your condition. A pharmacist at the dispensary will review your information and help you purchase medication. 

The state of Minnesota does not issue medical cannabis cards to its patients. Patients can purchase from dispensaries with a certification from a physician and an approved state application. 

If you want proof of participating in the medical cannabis program you have a couple of options. One is that you can print verification documents from your account. 

To access these documents you must log in. 

From the patient home page, click on the username in the top right-hand corner of your screen. 

Then, select “registry verification card”. Then select “open”. 

Now you can view and print the verification documents. You can also download a digital copy of it or take a picture of it with your phone to carry with you.

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Card Benefits

Getting approved for medical marijuana in Minnesota is the only way to consume marijuana legally in the state. If and when recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state patients can still expect to benefit from lower taxes and better products. 

Right now, the main benefit is legal protection to possess and consume cannabis as a patient.

MN patients are legally able to possess a 90-day supply of cannabis. The amount of your 90-day supply is determined by your certifying physician. 

There are limits to the products available in this state. But there is a wide range of chews, gummies, flower, oils, pills, and tinctures available.

How Many Plants Can I Grow In Minnesota With a Medical Card?

You cannot legally grow your own marijuana in Minnesota. Even patients with medical cards are prohibited from cultivation. 

Current laws limit the program to two medical cannabis manufacturers. They are Vireo Health of Minnesota and Leafline Labs. They are required to grow, process, and distribute medical cannabis to patients. 

The state law does not allow for patients to grow at home. And it does not currently allow for additional cannabis producers.

Does Minnesota Accept Out Of State Medical Cards?

Minnesota does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. And recreational sales are not allowed. So if you are not a Minnesota resident with a valid medical marijuana card then you cannot legally consume cannabis here.

Wrapping Up: MN Medical Card

Since recreational marijuana is not legal there is a ton of benefit to getting your Minnesota medical marijuana card. Namely, it is the only way to legally consume cannabis in the state. 

And improvements to the program make it easier to be approved. More qualifying conditions have been added to the state’s list and you can now meet with a physician online. 

Make an appointment with Leafwell or Veriheal and you can find out if you qualify from home! 

Veriheal also has expert cannabis coaches available who can meet with you to answer any additional questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is it to get a medical card in Minnesota?

It is not very hard to get a medical marijuana card in Minnesota. The process is relatively straightforward. It just involves a couple of hoops you must go through to be approved. 

You need to be a legal resident of the state. You must be at least 18 years old. And you must be diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions approved for treatment. 

As long as you meet these requirements then you just need to speak with a physician to get a certification. Once you have your certification you need to complete the state application and pay the fees. 

Once your application is accepted you need to complete a self-evaluation form every time you pick up medication from a dispensary. You will need to recertify and pay the fees annually. 

Can you own a gun with a medical card in Minnesota?

No, you cannot own a gun if you get your medical marijuana card in Minnesota. 

Because cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government it is illegal to own a gun in any state with a medical marijuana card.