Minnesota Health Commissioner speaks out about medical cannabis shortage

Minnesota’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger said the medication is available as of now.

Posted: Dec 12, 2017 7:03 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. – After a number of patients reported a shortage of medical cannabis at Leafline Labs, Minnesota’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger said the medication is available as of now.

Dr. Ehlinger calls the distribution of medicinal marijuana a complex process. The companies have to grow, process, distribute, test, and regulate the medication.

His role within the state is to oversee the companies and make sure they’re competing all those steps.

“This is something that hasn't been around for that long so these are still start-up companies even though they're still several years into it,” Ehlinger said. “It's a complex system and because it's a regulated product, they have to follow all of the procedures that are required to make sure there's no diversion and make sure that the quality of medicine.”

The commissioner calls it a growing industry with it first serving a few hundred individuals and now serving 11,000. Recently, he added two new conditions to the list of disorders that qualify a patient for the state’s medical marijuana program. They are autism and sleep apnea.

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