Minnesota medical marijuana program nearly doubled in 2018

February 12, 2019 10:27 PM

New information from the Minnesota Department of Health shows at the end of 2018, there were more than 14,500 people enrolled in the state's medicinal marijuana program compared to a little more than 8,000 at the end of 2017.

The highest percentage of patients, at 64 percent, use the program to treat intractable pain and the next highest condition treated is post-traumatic stress, at 16 percent.

Michelle Larson with the Minnesota Department of Health told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS regulators at MDH were surprised by the numbers but also happy to see the program is growing.

"It tells us there is more trust in the program and what medicinal marijuana can do for people,"  said Larson. "There is more trust among patients, health care providers and others and that means we should continue to see more growth."

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The largest age demographic using the state's medicinal marijuana program is people over the age of 50, and 19 percent of those enrolled are older than 65.

"We never know what to expect as we monitor the program and those numbers did stick out, for sure," said Larson. "It might be because older people have the income needed to afford medicinal marijuana."

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Jay Kolls

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