Dayton, legislators agree on medical marijuana proposal

The compromise would allow qualified patients to receive the drug from eight distribution centers statewide.

Taylor Nachtigal

Legislation to allow medical marijuana cleared a major hurtle on Thursday as the House and Senate agreed on a deal that sets parameters for its use.

The bill, which Gov. Mark Dayton has indicated he will sign, is expected to pass both chambers on Friday.

Since its introduction, the legislation has garnered support from law enforcement, medical groups and legislators.

It details a list of health conditions for which medical marijuana may be used, including: glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette syndrome, Crohn’s disease, seizures — including those with epileptic characteristics  — and other types of chronic pain associated with cancer and terminal illnesses.

The bill also states that the state’s Department of Health could conduct a study of the drug’s effects, through a provision that would establish a patient registry system.

To be eligible to obtain medical marijuana, which would be available at eight permitted distribution sites statewide, patients would pay a registry fee of either $200 — or $50 for patients who receive some type of aid.

“I look forward to signing this bill into law,” said Dayton in a prepared statement. “And I pledge that my administration… will do everything possible to implement it as swiftly and successfully, as is possible.”