State Hosts Meeting on Medical Marijuana Production, Distribution

Updated: 08/08/2014 3:05 PM
Created: 08/08/2014 10:21 AM
By: Katherine Johnson

Two medical marijuana manufacturers must be chosen by December, so the Minnesota Department of Health is starting to weed through potential applicants and educate anyone who has an interest in becoming a part of the distribution process.

About 250 people packed a meeting Friday at the Minnesota History Center. Some are interested in applying to be one of the manufacturers, coming with questions about the $20,000 non-refundable application fee. Others want to be a part of the distribution process.

Some of the rules announced at Friday's conference include background checks for all potential employees and never hiring a person with a felony criminal record.

Vehicles transporting cannabis will only be allowed to make stops at manufacturing and distribution centers or to fuel up, and all facilities must be equipped with a 25-hour video surveillance system.

It's the very beginning of a budding, and heavily regulated new industry in the state.

"There are no applications to fill out just yet," said Mike Schommer of the Department of Health. "We're still building up our office of medical cannabis. The final decision on manufacturers won't be made until December."

According to Minnesota law, at least one distribution center must be up and running by July 1, 2015.

Photo: AP/Elaine Thompson

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