Minn. patients hitting roadblocks for marijuana prescriptions

Patients in Minnesota are running into roadblocks getting registered for medical marijuana.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (CNN) – Thousands of Minnesotans who qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions may not be able to get them next month.

Patients started registering for the new program, but one of the state’s largest neurology practices says its doctors won’t take part for now.

Noran Neurological Clinic provides services at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and several clinics.

The online registration may be open, but patients can’t register themselves – their doctor has to register them.

A woman with MS said her neurologist who works for the Noran Clinic and her primary doctor have decided not to take part in the state program.

Some Minnesota doctors are objecting because the marijuana prescriptions will come from pharmacists at state dispensaries.

Dr. Rupert Exconde of the Noran Clinic said it comes down to safety for the patient.

“The main problem is that we won’t be able to prescribe, we won’t know the components of what our patients are getting,” Exconde said.

Exconde says physicians also want to see if there are any negative reactions to the new marijuana medications being made in Minnesota.

In an interview on WCCO radio, an assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of health said some patients may have to work with other doctors to get registered for the marijuana prescriptions.

The Noran Clinic is not ruling out eventually taking part in the program, especially if doctors can have more input into the prescribing process.

A Department of Health statement said they are not aware of any medical groups who have decided against participation in the program.

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