How You Can Help Minnesota’s Legal Cannabis Program

Advocacy Is Still Shaping Cannabis in Minnesota

We loudly applaud everyone in Minnesota who is still fighting the good fight for cannabis legalization and continuing to advocate the best possible cannabis program and market. With Minnesota’s unique strategy for registering low-THC hemp and many surrounding states still with new or nonexistent cannabis programs, Minnesota stands to lead by example how to FINALLY start a cannabis program successfully and equitably with respect to social equity businesses and a timely rollout.


Cannabis Rescheduling is Federal – The Fight Continues

With the DEA rescheduling announcement on April 30, 2024, it may be easy to think that the fight for legalization has subsided, but that couldn’t’ be further from the case. If you’ve caught up on rescheduling news, you know that the state-level regulatory regimes are unlikely to be overturned. In fact, with the agreement to reschedule and recognition of medical benefits, historically reluctant states are likely to re-consider cannabis legalization. That means there is still work to be done across the country on the federal and local levels.


Make A Difference In Minnesota – State-Level Cannabis Strategy

The passion for cannabis in the Minnesota people is inherent in everything they have done thus far to start and continue to push the legalization movement in the state. Even if you’re not on the ground level rubbing elbows with politicians or standing for pictures with the governor, you can still be involved in the momentous cannabis change across Minnesota.

Legislative Session in Minnesota

The 2024 session ends (or ended, depending on when you’re reading this) on May 20th and doesn’t restart until January 2025, so advocates will have to push through proposed agency bills and other policy amendments quickly. As cannabis licensing consultants who have seen many hasty rollouts, speedy changes made to a complicated process never turn out the way they’re planned.


How to Support the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management’s Regulatory Rollout

Whatever the decision by the legislature this session, Minnesota’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) is planning to submit initial draft rules to the Revisor of Statutes by the end of June. After the first draft is submitted, the OCM will continue to collaborate with the Revisor and will also begin informal feedback sessions with the public on the draft rules. These informal sessions are the best way to get your voice heard and influence the crafting of rules.

1) Get Acquainted with the Anticipated Minnesota Cannabis Timeline

Not until Q4 2024 does the OCM plans to submit FINAL draft rules to the State Register and to start the formal 30-day public comment period leading to final rules. While you are certainly allowed to and encouraged to comment during this time, it is much less likely that the OCM will consider new ideas or changes at this juncture. Assuming no significant changes are made to the regulations stemming from the comment period, they will become official shortly after it closes. If substantive changes are made to the regulations, another 30-day comment period will be required.

2) Participate in the Cannabis Licensing Process

Cannabis license application periods could open this summer in Minnesota under recently proposed legislative changes for Temporary/Social Equity applicants, or even sooner for select cultivators and microbusinesses, and continue into the fall and winter for all other license types.

For the quick turnaround to work, we’d expect the licensing rules to be released at the end of June and for those to be ‘emergency rules’ that that don’t require formal comment and allow the license periods to open before the rest of the rules are finalized this winter. Once the license period is open, actively participate in the process by submitting questions during FAQ periods.

3) Give Feedback on Minnesota Government Surveys

Another way to make your voice heard is to answer cannabis surveys for the public that help guide the process, set priorities, and influence social equity benefits. The most recent survey is from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) regarding cannabis grants and loans from the state—accepting responses from May 6, 2024 through June 14, 2024. The OCM has already closed their eighth Survey—if you’ve missed these, sign up for OCM’s implementation newsletters and reach out to Canna Advisors to be kept in the loop.


Join The Industry and Fight for Cannabis In Minnesota

While Minnesota may still have a little ways to go in order to begin adult-use sales, the progress the state has made in its cannabis program roll-out is something that every Minnesotan should be proud of.

If you need help preparing for your Minnesota cannabis license pursuit, reach out or book a consultation to the professionals at Canna Advisors to be a part of this historic cannabis market.

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