When Minnesota legalized medical cannabis in 2014, a task force was established to evaluate the medical cannabis program and report back to the state. However, numerous complaints about the operation and effectiveness of this task force have arisen.
Representatives of patients, law enforcement agencies, the medical community, lawmakers and other stakeholders make up this task force. The task force is mandated to scrutinize patient access to the medical marijuana program, the affordability of the products and any other issue connected to medical cannabis.
However, the task force appears to have been doomed right from its very inception. For example, the law establishing this entity wasn’t very clear on the exact duties of the task force.
Consequently, some of its members thought that the task force would assess the conditions that people wanted to be added to the list of qualifying conditions and then make recommendations on the same while other members didn’t think the task force had that authority.
Additionally, the composition of the task force appears not to be conducive for the group to do its work. This is because the task force has members who have divergent views about the appropriateness of having a medical cannabis program in the state.
Such divergent views of the proponents and opponents of the medical marijuana program create a lot of tension during meetings, so it is hard for the members to agree on anything.
As if the issues above weren’t bad enough, the task force rarely meets. For example, the last meeting they held was in 2017. It is nearly two years since they held a meeting!
Even the meetings that have been convened haven’t been well attended. Denis Flaherty, the ED of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, revealed as much when he decided to resign his membership on the task force.
He said that being on the task force was “a waste of my time” due to the poor attendance and the lack of impact that the meetings were having.
Because of the lack of impact by the task force, medical marijuana remains very expensive (and many patients have resorted to the black market).
These complaints about the task force haven’t gone unnoticed by the powers that be in the state. For example, Rep. Heather Edelson has drafted a bill to clarify how often the task force should meet, and the specific issues they should consider during that annual meeting.
Gov. Tim Walz also acknowledged that there were frustrations with the task force. He revealed that he was considering recreating the group into a new one that will consider the legalization of recreational marijuana in addition to assessing the medical cannabis program.
It seems there is all round consensus that something needs to be done to make the task force more useful. Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQB: PLPRF) and Redfund Capital Corp. (CSE: LOAN) (OTC: PNNRF) (Frankfurt: O3X4) call on all the concerned authorities to revisit the task force so that medical marijuana patients aren’t exposed to preventable inconveniences.
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