Sensible Minnesota’s Government Affairs Program identifies federal, state, county, and municipal agencies and their policies that affect cannabis consumers. We highlight issues, petition for and monitor rule changes, and spearhead judicial appeals of agency decisions. Currently, the program is working for the addition of conditions and ingestion methods to the existing regulatory scheme of the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program (“MMCP”).
Outside of the petition process, representatives of the organization are available to provide comment or testimony to other administrative agencies proposing policy changes relating to the organization’s mission. For example, representatives may provide testimony to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission if the testimony will assist in providing relief for persons accused and convicted of cannabis-related crimes. Further, we work to research important policy issues to provide reports to the Minnesota legislature and other governmental bodies.
What we’ve done
Sensible Minnesota found and alerted Minnesota Department of Health and the Office of Medical Cannabis to major website security flaws in their patient intake forms which were correctly shortly thereafter in July 2015.
We worked to encourage public participation during the public meetings and hearings for the addition of intractable pain to the list of the state’s qualifying conditions. In December 2015, when the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health announced the addition of intractable pain, representatives of Sensible Minnesota participated in media interviews thanking the Commissioner for expanding access for patients.
In December 2015, Sensible Minnesota provided a form letter request for an administrative hearing on proposed rule change from the Minnesota Department of Health, that the organization felt would create too long of a timeline for administrative changes to the MMCP. We supplied the letter to two patient groups for submission to the Minnesota Department of Health, and succeeded in obtaining a hearing on the proposed rules. At the hearing, the Minnesota Department of Health presented new amended rules that were in concert with the concerns Sensible Minnesota identified.
In April 2016, Sensible Minnesota reviewed and provided comment on forms from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis that will be used by the public to petition for additional conditions and ingestion methods for the MMCP.
Sensible Minnesota petitioned the Minnesota Department of Health for the addition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a qualifying condition and whole plant vaporization as an ingestion method in July 2016. The organization organized a press push for both petitions, including a press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol. PTSD was added by the Commissioner of Health in December 2016, and patients began receiving medicine in August 2017.