Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Woes
While Minnesota might be one of the states that currently allows for the use of medical marijuana, the state is still struggling due to the restrictiveness that has been placed on businesses that are working in this field. Those medical marijuana programs and businesses in Minnesota continue to face a litany of legal issues, along with a host of other problems including financial issues. In fact, they are known to have some of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the United States.
Problems With the Laws as They Stand
Minnesota came into medical marijuana very conservatively. When the program launched in the state, it only covered a handful of conditions, meaning that only those who were found to suffer from those ailments would be able to get medical marijuana. In late 2017, the state did add two other qualifying conditions to the setup including autism and obstructive sleep apnea.
Because of the restrictions that are in place, it means that very few companies have even bothered to try to navigate the system and setup their businesses. In fact, there are only two companies in the state with licenses, and both of those companies have had problems with restrictions. It has been difficult for reform for these issues in the state because there are many members of the state government, including the governor, who seem to be against marijuana, even when it is used for medical purposes.
There were a number of other qualifying conditions legislators were considering adding, but which they ultimately passed on including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and anxiety disorders.
Problems for the Two Companies Operating in Minnesota
The two companies that are currently in the marijuana field in Minnesota include Minnesota Medical Solutions and LeafLine Labs. Minnesota Medical Solutions has barely made a profit – just about $67,000 profit in 2017, and two of their executives were charged with felonies for supposedly conspiring to ship cannabis oil to an operation in New York. Leafline has lost about $10 million between 2016 and 2017, and there has been a substantial amount of turmoil within the management ranks of this company.
Because there are only two producers in the state, the products are limited in quantity and variety, and they tend to be expensive. For this reason, many people in the state who need marijuana to help with their medical conditions are turning toward the black market instead. This means the state is not going to be getting what they want from marijuana sales, which is essentially tax revenue.
All Hope Is Not Lost
There are a growing number of patients in the state who qualify for medical marijuana and who want and need these products. However, it is still going to take some reform in the legislature and new companies to set up shop in the state to make a real difference. If the business opportunities in the state start to brighten for marijuana business in the future, it is going to be a good time for investors to start looking at companies that they can back.