Minnesota Cannabis – Excitement But Long Process Ahead

Cannabis sprout Minnesota cannabis
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Excitement builds for Minnesota cannabis market despite long process ahead

Hundreds gathered at Canna Connect in Minneapolis Saturday to learn more about the developing recreational cannabis industry in Minnesota. Cannabis will be legal for Minnesotans age twenty-one and older to use and possess in limited amounts starting Tuesday.

But setting up the state’s regulation and retail structure will take time, cautioned Charlene Briner, interim director of the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management.

“There’s an urgency, because we’re all eager, we’re all really excited about this. We’ve been to other states, and we’ve visited dispensaries and we’ve seen that this is working,” Briner said. “But we also want to do it right. And we want to do it in a way that works for the folks that are going to be directly impacted.”

Briner was among the panelists during a discussion about the process for becoming a licensed marijuana retailer.

“Our goal is to have applications and in retail markets, standing up by the first part of 2025,” she said. “But there’s a whole lot that needs to be done, not the least of which is to also hire the 100 to 125 people that are going to staff this office that are going to be the experts in inspections and licensing and technical assistance.”

One potential business owner is eager to get started. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura expressed his excitement for the potential of Minnesotans to grow and sell locally in a panel discussion on the future of cannabis product sales. He said he wants to personally involve himself in the industry here.

Ventura and business owners also said they want Minnesota to be prepared when business licensing begins to keep the cannabis market local.

“I want to put my name with Minnesota companies and make cannabis a prosperous business in Minnesota, by Minnesotans, keeping the money in Minnesota,” he said.

Briner estimates the office will begin providing business licenses to retailers to sell marijuana beginning 2025.