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Here's a look inside Rochester's first-ever medical cannabis dispensary

Here's a look inside Rochester's first-ever medical cannabis dispensary

Minnesota Medical Solutions on Tuesday gave the media a first look at its new medical cannabis dispensary in Rochester.

The facility — located inside the former Hot Fish Shop at 3456 East Circle Drive — will begin serving patients on Thursday.

 
 

Medical marijuana became legal in Minnesota earlier this month. However, the state's law is the strictest of its kind in the U.S. It prohibits smoking of the drug and requires the plant be manufactured in liquid, pill, or vaporized form. 

The non-smokable cannabis is only available to Minnesota residents whose health care provider certifies them to be suffering from nine qualifying conditions including cancer, glaucoma, and HIV/AIDS.

 
 

According to the most recent numbers, 183 patients have been approved to participate in the medical marijuana program; another 157 patients have been cleared by their doctor and are in the process of completing their registration.

Meantime, nearly 300 health care practitioners have registered in the program. Locally, both the Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center will allow each doctor to decide whether they want to prescribe their patients marijuana.

 
 

MinnMed, which is growing the cannabis in Otsego, will also operate distribution centers in Maple Grove, Minneapolis and Moorhead.

A second provider, LeafLine Labs, has a manufacturing facility in Cottage Grove and dispensaries in Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud and St. Paul.

Click here to learn more about the state's medical cannabis program.

 
 

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(Cover graphic: The Med City Beat)

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