MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new report from Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor reveals several issues with the state’s medical marijuana program.

Minnesota is one of 33 states that allows certain patients to use medical cannabis in the treatment of their ailments.

The Minnesota Department of Health is the overseer of the state’s medical cannabis program. However, according to the report an audit found that, “the Minnesota Department of Health’s internal controls were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements for the medical cannabis program.”

Auditors were tasked with determining whether MDH was properly overseeing patient eligibility, revenue streams, and manufacturing processes between July 2016 and December 2018.

Key findings from the report:

  • Finding 1. MDH did not verify for all new patients that the license of their health care practitioner was active and in good standing.
  • Finding 2. MDH did not keep valid documentation of the eligibility of parents or legal guardians for the medical cannabis program.
  • Finding 4. MDH did not adequately reconcile some medical cannabis patient fees or ensure employee separation of duties when handling these payments.
  • Finding 5. MDH did not ensure that each of the two medical cannabis manufacturers had a formal contract with a testing laboratory.
  • Finding 6. MDH did not have adequate controls to ensure manufacturers accurately tracked and tested medical cannabis prior to sale.
  • Finding 7. MDH did not have adequate controls to help prevent and timely detect diversion or loss of medical cannabis by a manufacturer.

The main issues of noncompliance were findings 1, 3 and 5.

  • Finding 1. MDH did not verify for all new patients that the license of their health care practitioner was active and in good standing.
  • Finding 3. MDH charged some medical cannabis patients a lower registration fee than permitted in state statutes.
  • Finding 5. MDH did not ensure that each of the two medical cannabis manufacturers had a formal contract with a testing laboratory.

The state’s medical marijuana program was formed in 2014, and it’s seen as the most restrictive of its kind in the country.

Click here for a full report summary on the Office of Medical Cannabis’ website.

Click here for MDH’s official response to the report.

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