(CityPages) Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of the state’s two medical weed manufacturers, has jacked up prices by 15-20 percent on all its products, forcing chronically ill patients to head back to the streets to treat their pain.

MinnMed CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley blames the hikes on a trifecta of problems. Not enough people are enrolled in Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, he says, and the majority of those registered qualify for medical assistance from the state, which gives them a 10-25 percent discount. Plus, MinnMed was the sole provider of expensive cannabis oil for the first three weeks after the program launch – while LeafLine Labs stuck to pills.

“[Cannabinoid oil] is really expensive to make, and most patients need an astronomical amount for it to be effective. We anticipated that both manufacturers would be making it,” Kingsley says. “So those things changed the finances for us pretty substantially.”

The bulk of the cost comes from lab processing, not cultivation. But MinnMed will be experimenting with different strains to find the most potent weed, which would eventually drive down prices, Kingsley says. He’s also relying in part on help from Canna Care, which collects donations for patients in need of affordable medical marijuana.

Day off in #StPaul today, #spooning with #JuliusSqueezer. #AliceCooper and #MotleyCrue tomorrow night at the #XcelEnergyCenter! Last time we were here they were erecting a Christmas tree in the snowy square down the road. Ahh memories. Feels like it was just last November. Wait a minute…
#redtailboa #boa #snake #constrictor #snakes #snakeskin #goodnorth #beards #beard #beardporn #snakeporn #blackandwhite #snakesinbed #Minnesota #beardsinblackandwhite (at Xcel Energy Center)

Hello! I’m Rae. 19 and spending most of my time between Florida and Minnesota. Current student who aspires to travel the world and make peoples’ lives better. Animal, adventure, and food fanatic. Down for anything and always up to no good. New friends are cool so follow/message me at dearmrowl (tumblr) or ColorOutsideTheBoxes (kik) :D


Nestled on the corner of LaSalle and Groveland Avenue sits my first apartment. One would say I am lucky to live so close to downtown as a young twenty-something. Others would say that Stevens Square is home to only twenty-somethings. Either way, it is because of this location that I have been able to do what I have done the past two days.

When your significant other works as a barista at a coffee shop, sometimes they have to sacrifice sleep. I had promised him I would accompany him to work this morning and the last, meaning that we both had to wake up at 4:15 AM CST. Waking up early is not my strong suit, so everything before heading out the door returns to me in a blur. Minnesota has a way of waking you up, however–in the form of a perpetual chill in the air. Although it is late summer, the mornings are brisk and dark. As we walk our dog, I take in the assaults on my senses: Fresh air, a cool breeze, the sun glimmering between the skyscrapers, the smell of bacon, the sound of birds. We arrive at Caribou Coffee after a fifteen minute walk, and then we part ways.

On the first day, I strolled down Nicollet Mall before the sun rose. A place that is usually bustling with excitement and danger had become a ghost town. The occasional runner or car would pass by, but otherwise the normally flooded streets were dead silent. The sheer emptiness of this city of almost four million people was breathtaking. Minneapolis is a busy place most hours of the day and night, with the common rabble out and about until only a few hours before. For once, I had the pleasure of walking alone without any disturbance, the sidewalk seeming to sparkle under my feet.

The second day, I decided to sit outside of the coffee shop and really absorb the setting I was in. The time lapse was incredible. From the same spot and over the course of an hour, I watched the city come to life. In the beginning, there was no one. Just my dog and I, the sound of crickets and the hum of faraway cars in the background. At that moment, I could have closed my eyes and imagined the countryside. The stillness was short-lived once the clock ticked closer to 6 AM. Businessmen and women crawled out of their homes and down the streets, members of the YWCA rode their bikes to their early morning workouts, bus schedules became more frequent. One by one, the people came down the mall, but most of them would not greet you even if you smiled at them. I assume this is because no one has had their morning coffee yet. The magic of the city at sunrise had woken me up enough, but most are not so observant or appreciative of the beautiful city–and world–that we live in, and are more focused on getting through their day. The magic is broken by this time and I decide to get my own literal cup of coffee and head home.

The walk back is also nice, especially when the sun is peeking out from behind my apartment building. I take a detour with my dog toward the LaSalle Community Garden, and feel as if I am stepping into a fairytale. Komorebi, a Japanese word that translates into ‘sunshine filtering through leaves’ is the first to come to mind. The flowers light up, and as I sip my coffee and watch my dog try to play with the squirrels, I feel at peace. There really is something magical about Minneapolis in the mornings. Maybe that, or maybe now I am just realizing what it feels like to be a morning person. Either way, I am thankful for the experience. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make a habit out of it. For right now, though, it’s time for me to go back to sleep.