Photo by Gracie Malley
After the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) released a first draft of proposed regulations for potential cannabis manufacturers last month, residents have been enthusiastically attending public meetings hosted by state officials. As the state gears up to begin its medical marijuana program, many locals are hopeful that they will be given the chance to take part in the process.
Growers and cultivators looking to become a part of Minnesota’s medical cannabis program have the opportunity to apply to become one of only two legal cannabis manufacturers within the entire state. In order to be considered for the exclusive role, growers must submit an application along with a $20,000 non-refundable application fee. The MDH officially began accepting applications on Sept. 5 and will continue to review submissions through Oct. 3. Applicants must file a notice of intent by Sept. 19.
According to reports, manufacturers can expect to complete a lengthy and thorough application and will need to provide lots of information from mock designs for potential advertisements and business plans to blueprints, floor plans and protocol in the case of a pest or fungal outbreak. Each year manufacturers will be evaluated to see how they performed based on the plans outlined in their applications and their contracts will be renewed if they have successfully adhered to regulations.
The process will begin with Doctor Edward Ehlinger, the commissioner of health, who will register two manufacturers by Dec. 1. Following that, manufacturers will begin production while regulations for the program are further discussed and exacted. Applications for potential patients will be available in late May or early June and cannabis products will be available next summer on July 1 for all qualified medical patients.
Under the proposed regulations, medical marijuana patients will have limited access to cannabis and will legally only be able to purchase and consume marijuana in liquid, vaporized or pill form. They won’t have access to any buds, edibles, oils, concentrates or topical treatments. Any patients caught with loose leaf marijuana will lose their protection under the law and their status as a medical cannabis patient will be immediately terminated.
Would you grow cannabis for your state’s medical program? Tell us your thoughts below.