How To Open A Dispensary In Minnesota

Open A Dispensary In Minnesota

Minnesota has had a medical marijuana statute in place, since 2014. Yet, it’s one of the most restrictive in the country because it only permits the distribution of cannabis in liquid, oil, and pill forms.

Recreational marijuana use is prohibited by Minnesota law. A medical marijuana card issued by the state’s medicinal marijuana program is the only way of purchasing marijuana legally. Irrespective of the rigorous laws and regulations the state has for medical cannabis, its dispensaries offer a large variety of products for qualified patients and their legal guardians.

Yet in the current marijuana industry, rules and laws frequently change. So, let’s look at what is required to open a cannabis dispensary in Minnesota.

Can I Open a Dispensary in Minnesota Right Now?

Not now, as the authorities are not accepting any new applications.

In Minnesota, only licensed establishments are permitted to sell cannabis. The state has stringent regulations for dispensaries. 

Any business seeking to sell cannabis must maintain four or more locations. The objective of Minnesota’s law was to make it challenging for new cannabis businesses to open, hence limiting the number of cannabis dispensaries in the state. All new dispensary applications must receive state authorization, and they are currently not accepting any new applications.

How Much Can You Buy?

Each patient or their caregivers can buy a 30-day supply of a non-inhaled form of cannabis. Patients are permitted to buy cannabis in herbal form since March 2022. They can now buy up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis flower from authorized vendors every 14 days.

Current Cannabis Laws in Minnesota

  • Advertising to audiences under 21 is not allowed.
  • No one under the age of 21 is allowed to work in the cannabis industry, and stringent age verification procedures are necessary for purchases.
  • Those over the age of 21 may use cannabis and cannabinoid products in private areas, private residences, licensed establishments, and at permitted events.
  • Cannabis cannot be smoked in a moving motor vehicle
  • Dispensary owners must operate from four locations.
  • Growing your own marijuana plant is illegal in the state.

How Much Cannabis Can an Adult in Minnesota Possess?

A patient is allowed to have any quantity of cannabis. Yet Minnesota simply forbids patients and carers from having more than a 90-day supply of medical cannabis obtained from a dispensary on the recommendation of a licensed pharmacist.

Tax Rates in Minnesota

Expect the effective tax to be in the range of 15% because Minnesota would levy an additional point-of-purchase gross receipts tax of 8% on top of the regular sales tax. In areas where there are more municipal sales taxes, it would be more.

The proceeds would go into the general treasury, but the objective is to pay for the costs of regulatory issues and related initiatives, like additional substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Current Cannabis Market in Minnesota

According to industry officials, sales in 2021 were in the $40 million range.

In Minnesota, medical marijuana sales are anticipated to reach up to $100 million this year and $125 million by 2025, according to statistics.

Types of Cannabis Licenses in Minnesota

Marijuana enterprises cannot obtain licenses as the authorities are not accepting new applications. Two businesses have been approved by the Department of Health as licensed marijuana manufacturers and distributors. There are 8 cannabis patient facilities, or dispensaries, in the state.

Medical Cannabis Manufacturer

Medical cannabis can be grown, produced, and distributed by a manufacturer with a valid license. The Minnesota Department of Health has two registered medical cannabis producers. At this time, no new manufacturer license applications are being accepted.

Application Fee – $20,000

Annual License Fee – $75,000 to $100,000

Medical Cannabis Laboratory

Labs may submit an application to be licensed to test medical cannabis products obtained from Minnesota-registered medical cannabis manufacturers. Labs are welcome to apply at any time as this is an open application procedure.

A Minnesota-based facility is required for laboratories seeking to apply for this program.

How to Get a License

Minnesota dispensaries must follow these rules:

  • Every medical marijuana business owner is required to establish four distribution facilities.
  • Manufacturers must undertake all production activities in a single place, including cultivation, harvesting, manufacture, packaging, and processing.
  • Additional distribution facilities could dispense medical marijuana and its products.

Authorities are not accepting dispensary licenses as of now. However, they are accepting Lab applications now. If you want to start a Medical Cannabis Lab, here is a step-by-step guide to doing so:

Step 1: Submit application and required documentation

Step 2: Laboratory site visit

The objective of the on-site visit is to assess the laboratory’s capacity to carry out medical cannabis product testing for the requested accreditation scope.

Step 3: Minnesota Department of Health Approval

Following the completion and documentation of site visits, MDH will decide whether or not to authorize the laboratory. If approved, MDH will specify which tests and procedures the lab can carry out for Minnesota’s medical marijuana manufacturers. Every authorized laboratory needs to be ISO 17025 certified.

Manufacturer Contracting

Minnesota’s medical cannabis manufacturers can enter into contractual agreements with laboratories once MDH has approved them for testing.

Minnesota Dispensary Fees

Type of FeeAmount
Non-refundable Application Fee$20,000
Annual License Fee$75,000 – $100,000

What Else Do You Need to Open a Dispensary in Minnesota?

Step 1

Understand Cannabis Laws In Minnesota

Yes, this is important. you need to understand the law of the land to apply for a cannabis license. Understand the regulations to stay compliant and run a successful cannabis business in Minnesota.

Step 2

Create A Solid and Scalable Business Plan

Any successful business, regardless of size or industry, must have a solid business plan. This detailed guide provides guidelines on creating a business plan for organizations at any stage:

Executive Summary

The first section of your business plan will always be the executive summary. The following questions will be addressed:

  • What are the business’s goals and objectives?
  • Describe the company’s short- and long-term objectives?

Description of Business

Define the scope, realm, and objective of your enterprise in this section. In order to do this, respond to the following questions as succinctly and clearly as you can:

  • Who is our client?
  • What does our business do?


Who is the current market leader in your area?  Identify three to five businesses that you admire or regard as competitors that are ahead of you.

Market Research and Strategies 

Explain your market analysis and marketing strategy, including sales projections, target dates, and milestones, advertising, public relations, and a comparison of your business to the competition. If you’re short on data analysis, you may offer customer testimonials instead.

Financial Documents 

In this section, you should present the data that supports your organizational and marketing sections. Add three-year forecasts that are as conservative as possible for your balance sheet, cash flow statements, and profit and loss statements. These are not the outputs of your current accounting; rather, they are projections for the future.

Operating Model

Simply put, your operating model describes how your business actually functions. It’s a comprehensive list of the processes, technologies, and physical assets you need to fulfil the commitments made by your product or service to your clients.

How Long Should a Business Plan Be?

There’s no correct length for a business plan. It is more about the quality than the number of words or paragraphs. Many entrepreneurs write a lot but their business plans say very little. An excellent business plan may have just a paragraph and bullet points for each element along with a few pie charts. On the other hand, a 150-page business plan may hold no value to it as the focus may be on writing a story to make it sound good rather than having substance to it.

Therefore, the length of the business plan is irrelevant if it is solid and informative.

Step 3

Staffing Your Dispensary in Minnesota

Hire smart people who will fit in well with your cannabis business’s vision and mission. Putting together a team of individuals that work hard and actually care about the company is the most crucial thing you can do early on. Your first team members will have a big impact on how your product develops as it grows over time. 

Hire people according to the following criteria in Minnesota:

  • To work in the industry, one must be at least 18 years old.
  • Background checks may be necessary for some positions to make sure they have a clean driving and arrest record.

Step 4

Choose Your Location With Care

In Minnesota, your dispensary must not be too close to schools, churches, nursing homes, and the like.

Step 5

Tech Integration with Leading Technology Partner 

Finding the right technical partner is a challenging task because you will be sharing business responsibilities with the third-party firm. There are many crucial factors that may not be as important, but it would be a good idea to take them into consideration anyhowalong with the standard selection factors like previous projects, time spent on the market, and industry expertise.

Hence, once you are ready to open your dispensary in Minnesota, you must get in touch with Cure8 IT experts. We can develop and design your store from the scratch. Wi-Fi, iPads, scanners, printers, security cameras, and everything else you need to complete your store’s IT infrastructure can be sourced by us.

How Can Cure8 Help?

Cure8 is a one-stop shop for technology solutions that can improve the efficiency of your business. We work together with your team to determine which IT services and solutions are best for your cannabis business.

Check out more about our solutions here.

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