The ink of Gov. Tim Walz’s signature had no sooner dried on the state’s new cannabis law than Rochester resident P.J. Calkins was open for business as a new “cannabis consultant.” “I was getting calls from the next day,” Calkins recalled. “‘Hey, I want to talk to you. Have you read the bill?’”
Calkins began nurturing his entrepreneurial instincts at an early age. He was 9 when he ran a button manufacturing company. And his nose for opportunity convinced him that the state’s new pot law would create a gusher of new jobs.
New cannabis dispensaries won’t open in much of Minnesota until next year. In Rochester, it could be as late as 2025. But, in a sign of the consumer appetite for weed, hundreds of people queued up to buy cannabis at the state’s first retail dispensary last week, on the Red Lake Reservation, whose sovereign status allowed it to jump to the front.
A former candidate for Rochester City Council, Calkins is confident that competition for licenses to sell pot products in the Rochester area and southeast Minnesota will be intense and that there will be more applications for such licenses than there will be licenses.
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