Frequently Asked Questions

What if my employer finds out?

Your certification for the MN Medical Cannabis Program is confidential.  We do not share your information with anyone else, including current or prospective employers.  You do not have to tell your employer you are a registered patient in the program, however, you may test positive for cannabis components or metabolites if you take a drug test.  If your employer finds out, you are protected by Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act.  It prohibits employers from penalizing you as long as you are not impaired by, using or possessing medical cannabis at work.

What if my certification is expired?

You cannot purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary and you are not legally protected by the MN Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act until you are re-certified and your registration has been processed by the State. Call us to schedule your re-certification and we’ll handle it like any other re-certification.

When should I schedule my re-certification?

Call us 90 days before your original certification expires. That will give us enough time to get you scheduled for your re-certification. Re-certifications are done by phone and can happen any time within the 90-day period prior to your certification anniversary. When completed, only the year of your certification will change.  The month and day of your original certification will remain the same.

What does my insurance cover?

Nothing – Medicare included (like usual). However, you do get a 15% discount when you purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary if you are a veteran, receive Social Security disability and/or are covered by one of the following:

  • MN Care
  • Blue Plus
  • U Care
  • South Country Health Alliance
  • Medical Assistance
  • Indian Health Services

The RISE and Green Goods dispensaries offer discounts and deals too!

What if I have questions after you certify me?

We are always happy to help! Most questions can be answered over the phone or via email. There is no additional charge. In rare cases, we may ask you to come in for an in-person evaluation.

Can I grow plants for personal use?

Yes, up to eight cannabis plants, with no more than four being mature, flowering plants may be grown at a single residence as long as it is at the primary residence of someone 21 or older. Plants must be in an enclosed, locked space that is not open for public view.

How long does it take?

Our certification takes an hour.  Then you have to complete your online registration for MN’s Medical Cannabis Program and make an appointment at a medical marijuana dispensary.  The entire process can take as little as one week, if your schedule is flexible.

What if a patient needs assistance?

Designated caregivers are allowed to purchase, transport and administer medical cannabis to patients in need of extra help.  Dr. Johnson can designate a caregiver at the time of certification.  Parents, legal guardians and spouses can be caregivers as long as their name(s) appear in the patient’s online registry.  Other people can be caregivers too, but they have to formally register and pass a criminal background check.  See the details here.

Am I protected from discrimination?

Yes.  Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act provides civil and criminal protections for patients and designated caregivers registered in MN’s Medical Cannabis Program.  The protections prohibit discrimination in school, leasing, medical care, employment or child custody/visitation matters as long as patients are using and possessing medical cannabis properly.

Do I have to be terminally ill?

You DO NOT have to be terminally ill to qualify for medical marijuana.  MN’s Medical Cannabis Program includes chronic pain, autism, PTSD, sleep apnea and several other diagnoses on its list of qualifying medical conditions.

Can I buy ANY marijuana legally?

MN residents, age 21 and older, can now legally possess, use and home grow cannabis for recreational purposes. The new “decriminalization” law took effect August 1, 2023, but recreational cannabis won’t be available for retail purchase until 2025. When it is, it will be taxed at a rate of about 18% (local + state + 10%).

See “For Adult Consumers” on the MN Office of Cannabis Management website for more information.

Do I need a prescription?

No.  You only need to be certified and registered in MN’s Medical Cannabis Program.  When you go to a dispensary, the pharmacist will confirm that you are in the Program’s database and recommend options specific to your condition and goals.  What you purchase, however, is entirely up to you.  You are in control of what you purchase and how much you take because you know yourself better than anyone else.

Are CBD products sold in stores the same?

No.  Over-the-counter CBD products sold in gas stations and strip malls are different. The manufacturers are not regulated and the products are not subject to purity standards. The CBD is usually derived from hemp, a cousin of marijuana, and is so diluted there is only a trace amount. Minnesota’s medical marijuana is sold by two companies, Green Goods and RISE. Both have multiple dispensary locations called Cannabis Patient Centers. Their whole-plant, full-spectrum cannabis medications contain pure, consistent and predictable amounts of THC and CBD.

What if I have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?

Addictions do not affect your ability to qualify for Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program.

Do I have to stop taking my other medications?

No.  Your dispensary pharmacist will advise you to continue taking your current medications.  If you want to stop or decrease your current medications, you should work with your primary care doctor to do so.

If it is legal, why won’t anyone tell me how to get certified?

There are several reasons. First, Minnesota law does not allow MN’s Medical Cannabis Program to release the names of certifying physicians. The fear is that too many people will contact us and try to get certified for non-medical reasons. Second, there aren’t many doctors doing the certifications. Third, most doctors work for large corporations that do not allow them to certify patients.

I’ve been told I’m not a candidate. Is that true?

Most likely not true!  There are a lot of misconceptions in the medical community regarding qualifications and requirements for certification.  This confusion is because doctors are not educated about medical cannabis in medical school or residency.

Am I limited to one form of medical cannabis at a time?

No, you can use any combination of product types.

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