ROCHESTER, Minn. - There are only 8 patient centers in the state where Minnesotans can get medical cannabis. There's 1 in each congressional district. The dispensary in Southeastern Minnesota is Minnesota Medical Solutions.
"I've been on so many medications and they put me on so many weird things, sleeping medications and all this stuff and it's just awful," explains Marine Corps veteran Tony Lamb. He and Army veteran Zach Wilcox tried numerous other options until they discovered that cannabis helps them manage their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
"It absolutely changed my life. It went from hard to even leaving the house to.... it's hard to stay in the house," adds Wilcox.
However, access and cost can prevent people who qualify for medical cannabis to receive it.
"To my fellow practitioners: if you're not on the OMC registry, if you haven't educated yourself about the substance and how it can help your patients, please get on it," says Dr. Jay Westwater, CEO of Minnesota Medical Solutions.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is required to follow all federal laws regarding Marijuana, so the agency is not allowed to recommend cannabis or help veterans obtain it. However, veterans will not be denied V.A. benefits because of cannabis use.
In order to be prescribed medical cannabis, a Minnesota licensed health practitioner must certify that you have one or more qualifying conditions such as seizures, autism, or PTSD.