ST. PAUL — Beginning in late 2020, Minnesota residents who have chronic pain or age-related macular degeneration will be able to apply to the state's medical cannabis program.

The state Department of Health announced on Monday, Dec. 2, that both conditions will be added to the list of those that qualify for the program in August of next year. That same month, the department will also make medical pot available in two new forms of ingestion that it recently approved.

Currently, the department only allows medical marijuana to be consumed in the form of a liquid, pill, topical medication or vaporized substance. The updates will grant patients access to water-soluble options, such as powdered beverage mixes and orally dissolvable products, such as lozenges and gum.

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Also poised to grow is the number of medical cannabis treatment centers that the program's two manufacturers are able to operate. Leafline Labs has proposed to open new centers in Willmar, Mankato, Golden Valley and Rogers, according to the department, while Minnesota Medical Solutions is proposing locations Woodbury, Blaine, Duluth and Burnsville.

People diagnosed with chronic pain and macular degeneration will be able to apply to the program beginning in July 2020.