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Hamilton pushes medical cannabis regulations

ST. PAUL -- District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, has co-authored a bipartisan bill that modifies requirements for medical cannabis. The bill HF766 was introduced to the House on Feb. 7 and referred to the Health and Human Services Pol...

ST. PAUL - District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, has co-authored a bipartisan bill that modifies requirements for medical cannabis.

The bill HF766 was introduced to the House on Feb. 7 and referred to the Health and Human Services Policy Committee, to which District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, is assigned. The committee plans to discuss the bill at an upcoming hearing. HF766 outlines regulations on where medical cannabis can be used or administered.

Elementary and secondary school grounds, correctional facilities, child care centers and public transportation would be off-limits for medical cannabis under the bill. Additionally, use would be prohibited while operating any kind of motor vehicle.

While school grounds and buses are specifically mentioned as places where medical cannabis could not be used, the bill does make a provision for students who are prescribed medical cannabis. A parent or registered designated caregiver would be authorized to administer the medication to minor students on school grounds. Students age 18 or older could self-administer at school under supervision of a nurse or other appointed school staff member.

The bill also clarifies requirements for registered designated caregivers. They must be 21 or older and may possess only enough medical cannabis to administer medication to the patient. Each caregiver may only be registered for one patient unless multiple patients live together.

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Under HF766, health care practitioners must provide a yearly certification of each patient’s diagnosis that requires medical cannabis and an assessment of either the patient’s ability to self-administer or the patient’s need for a registered designated caregiver. Prescribers of medical cannabis will be required to report to the state health commissioner on the observed effect the medication has had on each patient since the date of prescription.

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