Yesterday I wrote about how Minnesota has more medical marijuana doctors signed up for Minnesota’s medical marijuana program than patients. As of the end of last week, there were only 250 medical marijuana patients in Minnesota. Anyone who is familiar with medical marijuana laws and programs around the country is not surprised. When the list of qualifying conditions is as small as it is in Minnesota, no one should expect patient numbers to be very high, as predicted by just about every cannabis expert from within the cannabis community.
There are just two companies that are responsible for growing and distributing all of the medical marijuana for the entire state. As seems to be the case with more and more cannabis companies, at least one of the companies over estimated just how big the market would be, and as a result is having to hike up prices. Per the Star Tribune:
One of Minnesota’s medical marijuana manufacturers has raised its prices substantially after less than a month in business, adding to a cost that many patients are already struggling to cover.
Dr. Kyle Kingsley of Minnesota Medical Solutions told the Associated Press Thursday that the company raised prices on its pills, vapors and liquids by 15 percent to 20 percent last week. The company also reduced the size of a discount for low-income Minnesota residents, he said.
The price increases, which weren’t announced in advance or publicized, riled some patients faced with big bills for the medication. Insurance doesn’t cover medical marijuana.
The second company that grows and distributes medical marijuana in Minnesota, LeafLine Labs, has stated that they will not raise their prices…for now. Unless there is a dramatic uptick in patients in the near future, which I think is nearly impossible given the rules of the Minnesota medical marijuana program, these two companies will continue to struggle. And since those companies are about making money, I would imagine prices will continue to rise, and all the while patients will suffer. Minnesota needs to take a good, hard look at their program and make some much needed changes, starting with allowing home cultivation so that patients don’t get price gouged at the dispensaries that they are strong armed into visiting by the Minnesota medical marijuana program.