MINNESOTA: Hundreds of would-be marijuana entrepreneurs crowded into an auditorium Friday morning to learn more about the Health Department‘s plans for regulating the state’s new medical cannabis industry.
More than 200 people pre-registered for the event and even more showed up at the door, packing an auditorium at the Minnesota History Center. Over the next six hours, they would be briefed on the rules, regulations, fees and expectations for the few businesses that will be responsible for producing and distributing medical marijuana when it becomes legal in Minnesota next year.
Getting into the medical marijuana business in Minnesota won’t be easy. There will be only two production facilities in the state, each with four regional distribution centers. Applying for a medical marijuana license starts with a $20,000 nonrefundable application fee and the industry will be tightly regulated.
Undeterred, attendees peppered Health Department staff with questions: Will dispensaries be required to have pharmacists on staff? (Yes.) Can manufacturers work with outside contractors on things like packaging for their produce? (Not right now, but that could change.)