Minnesota medical marijuana cost too much for patients to handle

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"We didn't know until the first day I went to go pick it up. No one would give me any indication about how much it would cost," Tracy Heng said.

It's a last resort for a Barnesville, Minnesota family but it's costing them more than they can afford.

Some patients in Minnesota are turning to the streets after learning the cost of medical marijuana is far more than they can handle.

Distributors say the cost to produce and test medical cannabis, along with a low patient count, are factors to what's costing one local family more than a thousand dollars a month.

"Where do you want to go for supper?"

Ashlin knows just what she wants to eat and she tells her mom the best way she knows how.

"With Rett syndrome she really should have lost her mobility awhile ago," Tracy said.

The 17-year-old suffers from seizures that have only grown in strength.

"Her head is going, her arms are going, her legs are going. We've been kicked, hit, and punched," Tracy said.

After dozens of drugs, Tracy Heng now purchases five bottles of liquid medical marijuana a month, a cost of $1,030.

"This one bottle lasts us one week," Tracy said.

She travels to the Twin Cities to get it, spending $1,500 by the time she gets back home to Barnesville and it's not covered by insurance.

"We will probably be able to afford this for 4, 5, 6 months," Tracy said.

Before they have to sit down and consider if the cost is worth the result.

Leafline Labs just announced a 15 percent discount for those who purchase a month supply and are looking into partnering with hotels for those who travel, hoping it will help after noticing patients having to choose.

"People spread their refills and do a bunch of things which means they're trading off affordability and the discomfort or the relief they would otherwise get," Manny Munson-Regala, JD, Leafline Lab CEO, said.

That's not a relief for Ashlin and Tracy, who buys it from Minnesota Medical Solutions but she keeps going because it's been the only medication she's seen work for her daughter.

"Her mobility and communication skyrocketed. It was fabulous. She was even speaking to us, two word combos," Tracy said.

A glimpse of a developing Ashlin, before another seizure strikes.

"This is what you do for your child when nothing else is working you have to give it a try."

Tracy said after learning of a discount available at Leafline Labs she's going to push for it at Minnesota Medical Solutions before she considers changing distributors.

Minnesota Medical Solutions said it may release new information this week about costs but would not say if it's about a discount.

As of September 19th, 491 patients have registered for medical marijuana in Minnesota.