By Lucas De Vries

January 24, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The
Minnesota Department of Health says it is taking steps to improve oversight of
the state’s medical-marijuana program.

In fact , this is after an audit found multiple failures.

The Office of
the Legislative Auditor
released a report this month saying, among other
things, that the health department had poor record-keeping for the eligibility
of parents and guardians. It also said regulators failed to verify that doctors
of new patients were licensed and in good standing.

Morgan Fox of the National Cannabis Industry Association however said that these kinds of problems are counterproductive, especially for a program that is already limited.

There are extreme licensing caps in place which so prevent the industry from really thriving and having good competition, said Fox.

Since it
was approved in 2014, Minnesota has one of the most restrictive medical
marijuana programs in the country. However, the expansion will take effect this
year – particularly in the number of points of access to drugs.

Meanwhile, health officials say they agree with the findings and are implementing solutions. In 2018, the state of Oregon also reported similar monitoring problems for its program.

Cannabis program

According
to Fox, when one state experiences difficulties or successes with cannabis
programs, other states should take that into account when developing their
monitoring plans – especially as other potential legislative changes are
looming on the horizon for 2020.

This year, we should expect to see laws passed in at least one or even more states adopting laws on medical cannabis, as well as the possibility of other states adopting laws on adult use, he said.

In
Minnesota, Democrats in the House and the Tim Walz government support the
legalization of recreational marijuana. But the idea is opposed by Republicans
in the Senate. Approximately 12 states already passed similar laws, while 33
states approved medical marijuana programs.

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