How to Open a Dispensary in Minnesota

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Minnesota is currently still finalizing its medical cannabis program. Right now, there are only two medical cannabis facilities in operation statewide, each one with its own distribution network. The timeframe for when new applications for dispensaries will be accepted is currently not known, but this is subject to change. Here is what you will need to know to open a dispensary in Minnesota.

Legalization in Minnesota


When was cannabis made legal

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Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, passed the state’s first medical cannabis bill back in May 2014. The bill allows possession and use of medical cannabis by registered patients within the state of Minnesota. The bill also allows for two manufacturing facilities that operate eight dispensaries throughout the state.Each of the two registered manufacturers are allowed to establish and operate four different distribution facilities around the state. The first dispensary began operations in July 2015.

How Many Dispensaries Operate in Minnesota?

As of right now, only two medical cannabis dispensaries are operating in Minnesota. Dispensaries are required by state law to have four different distribution locations. All together there are eight locations altogether across the state. Minnesota Medical Solutions operates in the following areas: Minneapolis, Rochester, Moorhead, and Bloomington. LeafLine Labs operates in Eagan, St. Cloud, Hibbing, and St. Paul.

What is Minnesota’s Cannabis Market Worth?

Sales of medical cannabis in Minnesota surpassed 9.5 million in 2016. That number is expected to reach 43.9 million by 2021.

How much money is there in the dispensary market

What is Minnesota’s Cannabis Market Worth? – Image source:

Details of Minnesota’s Cannabis Bill

On May 29th, 2014, Minnesota legalized medical cannabis with the passing of SF2470. The bill was a compromise between the House and the Senate, both of whom had passed monumentally different forms of the bill earlier that year.

The Senate bill makes provisions for patients suffering from the following medical conditions: PTSD, severe nausea, wasting syndrome, and intractable pain. The bill also provides for more dispensaries than previous versions of the bill, though costing less money. The bill that passed the House was more in line with the preferences of state law enforcement officials. That bill prohibited patients from using cannabis flower, and it also included an observational study.

Licensing Requirements

Dispensaries in Minnesota are required to adhere to the following rules and regulations:

Each medical cannabis business owner is required to open four different distribution facilities. All cultivation, harvesting, manufacturing, packaging, and processing must be conducted at a single location. Additional distribution facilities may sell medical cannabis and cannabis products.

Financial Requirements

Since there are no applications for opening a cannabis dispensary being accepted in Minnesota, there are no financial requirements to speak of at this time. All businesses are subjected to a fee for regulating and operating the business.


Applicants should allow a year or more after applying to open their dispensary. As of right now, no new applications for dispensaries are being accepted, but this is subject to change.

Consulting Companies

The following firms can help you with everything you need to do to get your cannabis business off the ground and running.


1 Comment

  1. i am curious about the possibility of planning for the eventual legalization of recreation marijuana. I know there is a market for recreational use in my area, and I would like to be in on the ground floor. Starting a dispensary for recreational use is what I am thinking and wondering about.

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