Marijuana officials in the state of Minnesota are urging lawmakers to consider amendments to licensing processes to help meet its retail cannabis sales goals. Charlene Briner, the interim director of the Office of Cannabis Management, stated in a recent webinar that the agency was focused on hiring staff and building infrastructure needed to oversee the legal marijuana marketplace.
Regulators plan to test how efficient an online license application system designed for businesses works in the spring. Briner also revealed that she was hopeful that when legislators resumed their legislative session, they would amend the law to allow for a successful launch of the state’s market while also aiding in effective regulation as time went by.
The recommendations given include permitting temporary business licenses, particularly for social-equity applicants. This, officials believe, will ensure that Minnesota remains on schedule for its market launch set for 2025’s first quarter. Briner also believes that legislators should eliminate barriers that will prevent parties from obtaining licenses.
These barriers include a provision that interested parties will need to secure buildings for their operations before acquiring they are able to acquire a license. Briner further explained that securing a property and spending a significant amount of money on a facility without any assurance that one would receive a license presented a huge risk for potential businesses.
Vicente LLP attorney Jason Tarasek applauded the recommendations made by the Office of Cannabis Management, particularly the office’s call to have provisional licenses introduced. Vicente LLP specializes in marijuana. Tarasek noted that time was needed to get products on shelves, which could take months. In an interview with WCCO, he explained that while some businesses would prefer selling the marijuana flower in whole, some would rather process the plant into other products, which took more time.
Tarasek also advised any party that hoped to venture into the marijuana market to begin laying the groundwork for business now. This, he stated, was because the process of launching a business in this field was costly and a lot was needed to allow operations to commence.
Under the new law, even counties and cities can apply to operate and own retail cannabis dispensaries. The city of Osseo recently formed a work group to draft a plan on this, which will allow for easier maneuvering once Minnesota allows parties to apply for licenses.
The proactive approach that the regulators in Minnesota are taking with regards to facilitating a smooth launch of recreational sales is likely to attract plaudits from not just the marijuana industry in the state but also allied companies such as Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) since a seamless launch would open opportunities for actors in several business verticals.
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