Hospital Prepares for Legalization of Medicinal Cannabis

St. Luke's Will Not Provide Medicinal Cannabis

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Medicinal cannabis becomes legal in pill, liquid, and oil forms Wednesday, and St. Luke’s doctors will be allowed to prescribe the drugs.

St. Luke’s Medical Director, Dr. Gary Peterson said Monday afternoon that the hospital will not restrict, nor require doctors to register as cannabis prescribers. 

Peterson said that many of the oncology physicians are registering, but that the decision will be left to the individual doctors’ determination. 

Patients who are prescribed medicinal cannabis will not be allowed to bring the substances onto hospital property, because of federal regulations.

Under federal guidelines, cannabis is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. 

Hospitals are not allowed to provide or allow access to schedule 1 controlled substances.

If they do, they face the potential of losing their status as medicare participants. 

Peterson said patients who are prescribed medicinal cannabis will be asked to leave the product outside of the hospital.

If patients do bring cannabis in, it will be placed into a hospital safe until the patient has it removed from the hospital.

Patients who are prescribed medical cannabis will have to obtain it at one of nine dispensaries in the state.

There will only be two dispensaries open on  July 1, those are in Minneapolis and Eagan.

Another dispensary will be opening in Hibbing, but it is not yet known when. 

All medical cannabis must be purchased using cash. 

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