US (MN): Regulators lay out roadmap for implementing legalization

Minnesota officials outlined the long, labyrinthine process for implementing the state’s new marijuana law during an informational meeting on Wednesday night, offering updates on the search for an Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) director as well as the array of issues still to be hammered out through an expedited rulemaking process.

“This is really a unique opportunity for us to assess the business needs, to evaluate the authorities that the legislature and the governor have given to the Office of Cannabis Management, and then to meet those business needs in a way that really helps us ensure the success of the cannabis industry in Minnesota,” Charlene Briner, OCM’s implementation director, said at the meeting.

Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed the state’s new legalization law in May, and it took effect earlier this month. But while possession and home cultivation of cannabis by adults are now legal in the state, officials expect that it will still be nearly two years before state-licensed retailers open.

In the meantime, there are still a series of hoops to jump through for both regulators and would-be businesses. That includes setting up OCM governance, public outreach, and crafting a bevy of new rules to guide the new industry. “This is really an all-hands-on-deck endeavor,” Briner said.


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