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State announces expansion of Minnesota’s medical marijuana program

Plus: DHS head tells lawmakers she’s working to tighten internal controls; Walz names climate change ‘subcabinet’ to work on emissions goals; Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge isn’t working; and more.

Marijuana plants
At MPR, Tim Nelson and Brian Bakst report, “Minnesota regulators on Monday unveiled a big expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program, adding chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration to the list of conditions that can qualify for treatment. The state Health Department also said it would allow more sites where patients can access medical cannabis. The changes take effect in August.”

In the Star Tribune, Sharyn Jackson says, “San Sebastián, Spain. Buenos Aires, Argentina. And Minneapolis. These are among the best food cities in the world, according to top culinary talent from around the globe. Bloomberg chief food critic Richard Vines surveyed some of the best international chefs to find out where in the world they like to eat — beyond typically renowned food cities like Paris, New York and Tokyo. Daniel Boulud, whose restaurant Daniel is considered one of New York City’s finest restaurants, chose our humble hometown thanks to our own great chefs, like Ann Kim, Jamie Malone and John Kraus.”

Briana Bierschbach of MPR writes, “The head of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services said ‘soft’ internal controls in the agency led to more than $100 million in payment issues dating back decades, but she said has a plan to get the agency on track. Commissioner Jodi Harpstead told a House committee Monday that she’s working to tighten internal controls within the agency so that payment decisions are made and signed off on by the correct people within the massive department, which employs roughly 7,300 people.”

Elizabeth Dunbar and Brian Bakst of MPR say, “Gov. Tim Walz Monday tapped the heads of multiple Minnesota government agencies to be part of a new collaboration aimed at getting the state back on track with its climate change goals. Walz said he’ll look to the new climate change subcabinet to suggest policy changes and coordinate responses to reduce harmful emissions and to provide more resiliency as the state experiences heavier rains and warming temperatures. … The governor and DFL lawmakers also proposed legislation earlier this year to require 100 percent clean electricity in the state by 2050, but the Republican-controlled Senate opposed it.”

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Says Kelly Smith for the Strib, “A new $65 million development in Minneapolis will help more people who are chronically homeless, including veterans and those in medical respite — a vulnerable population few facilities specifically serve in Minnesota. On Monday, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced it’s buying Augustana Health Care Center near downtown Minneapolis, repurposing and renovating the building. By 2021, the nonprofit will reopen it, relocating residents and services there from its Exodus Residence, a smaller building it will no longer lease from St. Olaf Church about a mile away downtown.”

Brady Slater of the Forum News Service says, “Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge has not been operating since Monday morning, a city official confirmed. Vessels traversing in and out of the Duluth port will temporarily use the Superior, Wis., entry. ‘A team is down there doing analysis,’ Duluth city spokesperson Kate Van Daele said. ‘They haven’t found anything yet, but it can’t go up.’ There is no timetable for if or when the bridge will be back in operation.”

For The Daily Beast, Matt Wilstein writes, “Just before the Thanksgiving holiday last week, Meghan McCain raged at The View co-host Joy Behar, arguing that the Democratic effort to impeach President Donald Trump would ultimately land him a second term in office. On Monday, she attempted to bring that fight to Democratic Senator (and 2020 presidential candidate) Amy Klobuchar.… [McCain asked] ‘So do you worry about Democrats getting over their skis a bit?’ Without hesitation, Klobuchar responded, ‘No. Because I see what just happened in Kentucky, and what just happened in Virginia and what just happened in Louisiana, where we had Democratic candidates win. In fact, in two of the states, Kentucky and Louisiana, Donald Trump had been there the night before. I guess what I want to know is, where can we send him next’? Klobuchar asked with a smile.”

For The Hill Joe Concha writes, “ABC’s Joy Behar told Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that if the senator were a man, she’d be further ahead in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during an interview on ‘The View’ on Monday. ‘You are one of those people in the middle everyone wants it seems. And if you were a man, you’d be further ahead,’ said Behar, a staunch critic of President Trump.”

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