- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015
Medical marijuana company offers discount on month supply

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Amid criticism of high prices for medical marijuana, one of Minnesota’s manufacturers on Monday announced a discount for patients buying a month’s supply of medicine.

LeafLine Labs’ 15 percent discount could mean anywhere between $15 in savings on some of the company’s less expensive pills, and as much as a $150 discount on more expensive products, chief executive Manny Munson-Regala said. The shift comes after LeafLine’s competitor, Minnesota Medical Solutions, substantially increased its own prices earlier this summer.

Executives at both companies have acknowledged the high prices can be difficult for many patients and vowed to keep driving down costs as the program grows. They already offer a discount to low-income residents, and are working on charitable arms to help buy down costs for some patients.

“This is an option that we hope works for them,” Munson-Regala said of the recent discount.

But it’s unclear whether LeafLine’s move will go far enough to bring down costs. The high prices quickly approach hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a month of medicine, prompting some patients to leave the legal protections of Minnesota’s new law and head back to the black market.

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State lawyers resist proposed change to sex offender program

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State attorneys defending the Minnesota sex offender confinement program are urging a judge to exercise restraint when ordering fixes to a system he ruled is unconstitutional.

In a federal filing Monday, a team led by Deputy Attorney General Nathan Brennaman warns against costly and “unfettered intrusion into state administrative affairs.” The brief was filed ahead of next week’s remedies hearing in a class-action lawsuit overseen by Judge Donovan Frank.

In June, Frank ruled the indefinite treatment center confinement of sex offenders deemed dangerous violated their rights. He sought potential changes to the program from lawyers for the sex offenders and the state. Only the plaintiffs submitted formal recommendations, which the state brief knocks down as too expansive and unrealistic.

The state brief says an appeal in the case is likely.

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Minnesota fall harvest runs ahead of last year’s pace

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s fall harvest is running well ahead of last year’s pace for most crops.

In its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that farmers took advantage of dry weather last week. The harvest advanced for dry beans, corn for silage, potatoes, and sugarbeets, and harvesting has now begun for corn for grain and soybeans.

Fifty percent of potatoes and 77 percent of dry beans have been harvested.

Fifteen percent of the sugarbeet crop has been lifted, the fastest pace in the last 50 years.

Sixty-seven percent of the corn for silage has been harvested, and 12 percent of the soybean crop has been harvested.

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MLS commissioner likes St. Paul Midway site for stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber says he likes the St. Paul site identified by Minnesota team officials as their preference for an 18,500-seat stadium.

The Star Tribune reports Garber was in St. Paul Monday to tour the site and meet with Mayor Chris Coleman and Gov. Mark Dayton. The site has emerged as a possible location for the Minnesota major league soccer franchise awarded to Bill McGuire and his investment group.

Garber said in an interview on ESPN 1500 radio that he likes the location of the St. Paul site, about midway between the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Garber noted the land is centrally located and on a light-rail line and Interstate 94. But he made it clear that St. Paul is not yet a done deal.

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