A Minnesota medical marijuana timeline

Although the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota dates back many years, it gathered critical mass in the spring of 2014. Here are some of the key moments to the bill's passage into law and implementation.

May 29 - Gov. Mark Dayton signs the medical cannabis bill into law. The bill allows patients with one of about 10 conditions to get a prescription to use marijuana in pill or liquid form by July 1, 2015.

July 10 - Dayton and state lawmakers appoint 16 people to a task force on medical marijuana. The task force, which also includes two state legislators and some state health officials, holds its first meeting later in the month.

Aug. 1 - The Minnesota Department of Health releases a draft of rules for medical marijuana manufacturers.

Sept. 5 - Health department opens applications to be one of two medical cannabis manufacturers statewide. Each applicant must pay a $20,000 non-refundable fee. The department also finalizes its rules for manufacturers.

Oct. 3 - Deadline for manufacturer applications. The health department received 12 applications from would-be growers.

Nov. 1 - Deadline for the state health commissioner to announce whether the state can choose at least one manufacturer by Dec. 1. If not, the legislature can extend the December deadline by six months.

Dec. 1 - The state health commissioner must register two manufacturers by this date, unless lawmakers grant the six-month extension. Each manufacturer will be allowed to operate four dispensaries across the state.

The health commissioner must also start reporting to prospective patients on recommended marijuana dosage by this day.

Jan. 15, 2015 - Deadline for state departments to report on how much the medical cannabis program will cost them.

Late winter/early spring 2015 - Outreach to potential patients and providers begins.

March 2015 - All of the roughly 10 people in the Office of Medical Cannabis must be hired.

Late May/early June 2015 - State begins accepting applications from patients interested in getting medical marijuana. Health officials have said they expect about 5,000 people to register.

July 1, 2015 - Medical marijuana available to registered patients. Under the current law, this deadline can be extended by six months if a manufacturer says it can't provide medical cannabis by July.

*Source: Minnesota Department of Health

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