How to open a Dispensary in Minnesota

Minnesota’s medical program is still taking shape and, currently, there are only two medical cannabis facilities in operation statewide, each one with its own distribution network. The first one began operating in 2015. As of now, it is unknown when the licensing application process is going to open again.

Nonetheless, laws and regulations tend to change quickly in the marijuana industry these days. So, let’s take a look at what is required to start a marijuana dispensary in Minnesota.

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    Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, passed the state’s first medical marijuana bill in May of 2014, allowing for the possession and use of medical cannabis by registered patients within the state. The medical marijuana bill allows for two manufacturing facilities that operate eight dispensaries statewide.

    When was cannabis made legal Minnesota

    Each of the two registered manufacturers may establish and operate four distribution facilities around the state, for a total of eight. The first dispensary in Minnesota opened its doors to patients in July 2015.

    How many marijuana businesses are there currently in Minnesota

    Currently, only two medical cannabis facilities are in operation, and no other licenses will be granted. Marijuana businesses in Minnesota are required by state law to have four distribution locations, resulting in eight locations altogether across the state. Minnesota Medical Solutions operates in Minneapolis, Rochester, Moorhead, and Bloomington. LeafLine Labs operates in Eagan, St. Cloud, Hibbing, and St. Paul.

    How much money is there in the dispensary market

    Minnesota does not allow the use of recreational marijuana. However, sales of medical cannabis have surpassed $9,500,000 for 2016, and this number is expected to rise to $43,900,000 by 2021.

    marijuana business profit
    How much money is there in the dispensary market

    Dispensary Owner requirements

    On May 29th, 2014, Minnesota legalized medical cannabis with the passing of SF2470. The bill was a compromise between the House and the Senate, both of which passed considerably different versions of the bill earlier that year.

    The Senate bill included more patients, including those with PTSD, severe nausea, wasting syndrome, and intractable pain, as well as more dispensaries, all while costing significantly less. The House bill, on the other hand, erred on the conservative side as it reflected demands from law enforcement. The House bill prohibited patients from using cannabis in its natural form, expressed concerns about a monopoly manufacturer, and included an observational study.

    License requirements

    The current Minnesota dispensaries are required to follow these rules:

    Each medical marijuana business owner must open four distribution facilities. Manufacturers are required to operate in only one location where all cultivation, harvesting, manufacturing, packaging, and processing should be conducted. Additional distribution facilities may dispense medical cannabis and medical cannabis products.

    Financial requirements

    There are no financial requirements associated with the application for a medical cannabis business, and the state is not accepting new applications. For current businesses, an annual fee equal to the cost of regulating and inspecting the business in that year is charged by the state.

    Financial requirements
    Financial requirements – Image powered by


    As of now, new cannabis business owners won’t be able to start a dispensary in Minnesota, but things could change in the future. If so, interested applicants should allow more than a year to secure their licenses and get their business running.

    Looking to start a marijuana dispensary in Minnesota? The cannabis consulting firms can help you with the necessary steps to get started. From helping explain state licensing requirements to assisting with applications, they’ll help get your business running.

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