The Minnesota department of health has announced plans to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. It’s welcome news according to state representative Jeff Brand of St.Peter.

“This gives another too in the box for people to manage the pain in their lives,” said Brand. “Just like with everything else these drugs have to be consumed under the guidance of the medical professionals involved.”

Brand says it’s also good news the department of health is allowing more sites where patients can access medical cannabis.

“If you have chronic pain, you might not have a job,” said Brand. “And if you don’t have a job transportation can be a difficult thing. This allows another avenue for Minnesotans to get access to cannabis.”

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says eight new centers are being proposed including a center in Mankato.