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Rochester to host state's first conference on medicinal marijuana

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Mayo Civic Center in Rochester is scheduled to host Minnesota's first-ever conference on medical cannabis next month.

The Nov. 24 event is being hosted by Sensible Minnesota, of which John Marshall graduate Payton Curry is a prominent member. Curry hopes to "educate patients, professionals and the public on medicinal cannabis," according to a press release from Sensible Minnesota.

The conference is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. However, Sensible Minnesota is asking for donations of $25 or $50, depending on how much of the conference one attends.

"I grew up in a Western Medicine family and have taken only a serious approach to (medical) marijuana," said Curry, who has been advocating for medical marijuana for seven years. "With a properly structured medicinal routine we have helped (patients) find relief in everyday life. We want to show Minnesota the possibilities and opportunities that come with proper knowledge."

The conference, titled "Medical Cannabis: An Essential Primer for Minnesota," will include an overview of cannabis as a medicine, a primer on Minnesota's law and patient protections and its nutritional benefits, according to the press release. Other topics will include public safety and security, and there will be a discussion panel of patients and updates from Minnesota's two medicinal marijuana manufacturers — Minnesota Medical Solutions and Leafline Labs.

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"This is an important step for Minnesota and the Rochester community," Sensible Minnesota Treasurer Maren Schroeder said. "With the Destination Medical Center and Rochester's growth, this is the perfect time to bring in the experts.

"We hope to see Olmsted County's stakeholders — patients, doctors, law enforcement, attorneys, social workers, etc. — take this opportunity to learn more about medical marijuana," Schroeder said.

Additional information about Sensible Minnesota and its conference is available at www.sensible.mn.

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