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Canna Business Application & Licensing in Minnesota

Recreational marijuana will become effectively legal in Minnesota on August 1, 2023. Retail sales (outside expedited licenses) are not expected to begin until Q1 2025. Carpfish Creative works with national advisors, lawyers, and cannabis businesses to help create a smooth transition into your cannabis business venture. From initial research to ongoing operations, Carpfish Creative Advisors will guide you on the path to success. With only one in nine applicants succeeding in most states, we recommend reviewing the final application with an advisor, lawyer, or consultant.

Ways to Stay In the Know

CannaConnect
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Minnesota Cannabis License
Cannabis Business Solutions
Weed maps

Will I Qualify as a Social Equity Applicant?

How Are Applications to Be Scored?

  • Status as a Social Applicant (Typically, a minimum of 20% of score). Impact of cannabis prohibition, such as arrest and/or imprisonment of the applicate or immediate family member, would grant social equity status.

  • Status as a Veteran or Retired National Guard

  • Security Plan

  • Record Keeping & Compliance Plan

  • Employee Training Plan

  • Business Plan & Financials

  • Labor & Employment Practices

  • Environmental Plan

What Should You Be Doing To Prepare?

Learn and stay updated on the current legislation and any ongoing changes.

This can be done through the state website, your cannabis consultant/advisor, or a lawyer. We do not recommend listening to your local city or council, as many haven't been informed of the appropriate rules. 

Determine the type(s) of licenses you would like to apply for.

Decide the type of Cannabis and/or Hemp/CBD license(s) you want to apply for.​ Below is a full listing of options. 

Start Learning the ins and outs of running a canna-business.

Obtain information on licensing, running, and operating a Cannabis business. We have several versions from our resource partners for you. It covers business, finance, security, compliance, creating local support, building your team, ongoing training, and social equity/grant programs. 

ADVOCATE NOW!

Get your brand out there now. There are already lots of cannabis events popping up to get early exposure. Carpfish has teamed up with the leading social groups in MN to provide these types of events. Let us help guide you in this process while the Canna Advisors secure your license. It's going to get really busy real quick. Plus the events are pretty darn fun. We also will post links to some of the better Calendars covering the Minnesota and Midwest Markets to the right of this text. 

Start Learning the ins and outs of running a cannabis business. 

Obtain information on licensing, running, and operating a Cannabis business. Some of the things to start researching and putting together are business plans, finance, security, compliance, creating local support, building your team, ongoing training, and social equity/grant programs available, etc. 

Start securing your financing now.

Cannabis is still a federally illegal product, meaning most big banks and investment firms still won't help cannabis business owners. However, don't let this deter you, as we can discuss many equity and non-equity options. 

Research and create Your Brand Identity.

Start the process of creating your brand name, logo, and basic marketing info (website, flyer). File and create your business on both state and federal levels. What products are you going to offer? What type of customer experience do I want to offer? These are all areas we can help with. 

Minnnesota Cannabis Applications
Cannabis Cultivation

Minnesota Current Business Licensing Structure

According to Chapter 342 of the Minnesota Statutes, the OCM will establish these 16 cannabis business licenses:

Cannabis Retailer (aka Dispensary)

  • Application Fee: $2,500

  • Initial License Fee: $2,500

  • Renewal License Fee: $5,000

A cannabis retailer license holder can buy cannabis plant parts, cannabis products, lower-potency hemp edibles, and hemp-derived products from licensed cannabis and hemp businesses for the sole purpose of selling these to the final consumers. Some main points:

  • In Minnesota, a licensed retailer can have up to five (5) locations.

  • Cities cannot deny retail licenses. The government has to offer one business license per city (every 12,500 residents) and​ can decide to offer more. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. You can also hold delivery, medical retailer, or event license(s).

Cannabis Microbusiness​

  • Application Fee: $500

  • Initial License Fee: $0

  • Renewal License Fee: $2,000

This license authorizes the holder to grow marijuana plants as well as buy cannabis seedlings, immature plants, and hemp plant parts from licensed cannabis micro businesses, mezzo businesses, manufacturers, and wholesalers. The license limits the plant canopy allowed to a microbusiness to 5,000 square feet for an indoor grow site or half an acre for an outdoor cultivation location.

The licensee can also purchase and buy hemp and cannabis concentrates, as well as make synthetic cannabinoids and adult-use cannabis products. The license also allows the holder to buy, package, and sell adult-use cannabis flowers, lower-potency hemp edibles, and hemp-derived consumer products. Lastly, a cannabis microbusiness can establish a venue where edible cannabis products and lower-potency hemp edibles are consumed onsite. With the right endorsement, a licensed microbusiness can operate one retail location in Minnesota. Some main points:

  • 5,000 indoor cultivation area, 1/2 acre outdoor.

  • One retail location per license. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Micro businesses may get additional endorsements for retail, wholesale, cultivate, process/extract, and have onsite consumption.

Cannabis Mezzobusiness

  • Application Fee: $5,000

  • Initial License Fee: $5,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $10,000​​

This license authorizes the holder to conduct the same cannabis activities as a microbusiness but on a larger scale. Therefore, a mezzo business license holder can grow marijuana for adult-use cannabis products as well as buy hemp plant parts. Besides cultivation, the licensee can also buy, make, package, and sell hemp and cannabis concentrates, artificially derived cannabinoids, lower-potency hemp edibles, and edible cannabis products.

The mezzo business license allows the holder to grow up to 15,000 square feet of plant canopy in an indoor facility or up to one acre in an outdoor location. The license also allows for up to three retail locations. However, a cannabis mezzo business licensee cannot operate a venue approved for on-site consumption of cannabis and lower-potency hemp edibles. Some main points:

  • 15,000 indoor cultivation area, 1 acre outdoor.

  • Up to three (3) retail locations per license.

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Can also hold an event and medical license. Mezzobusiness may get additional retail, wholesale, cultivation, and process/extraction endorsements. 

​​

Medical/Adult Combination Business

  • Application Fee: $10,000

  • Initial License Fee: $20,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $70,000

Licensed medical cannabis combination businesses can grow and buy cannabis plants for medical and adult-use cannabis purposes. They can also manufacture medical and adult-use cannabis products and sell these directly to consumers. This broad license is a cultivator, processor, and retailer license for medical and adult-use markets. A business with this license can only cultivate medical cannabis plants with a maximum plant canopy of 60,000 square feet. A separate area must be designed for cultivating cannabis meant for the adult-use market. This area can be no larger than half of the area reserved for cultivating medical cannabis in the preceding year.

  • Can cultivate up to 60,000 sq ft (Medical), 30,000 sq ft (Adult-Use)

  • Can operate ONE (1) retail location per congressional district

Cannabis Cultivator

  • Application Fee: $10,000

  • Initial License Fee: $20,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $30,000

A Minnesota cannabis cultivator license authorizes the holder to grow marijuana plants as well as package and label cannabis seedlings, immature plants, and flowers for sale to other licensed cannabis businesses. The license allows a cannabis grower to cultivate up to 30,000 square feet of plant canopy indoors or up to 2 acres outdoors. Some main points:

  • 30,000 indoor cultivation area, 2 acre outdoor.

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. It can also hold a manufacturing, medical, event, or hemp license.

​​

Cannabis Manufacturer

  • Application Fee: $10,000

  • Initial License Fee: $20,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $30,000

This license entitles the holder to buy cannabis and hemp plant parts and concentrate, cannabis and hemp edibles, and artificially derived cannabinoids from licensed microbusinesses, mezzo businesses, cultivators, wholesales, and other manufacturers. The license also authorizes the holder to manufacture these cannabis and hemp products as well as package and sell them to other cannabis businesses. Some main points:

  • Manufacturers may accept cannabis from unlicensed individuals of no more than two (2) ounces on a single occasion. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Manufacturers may also have a cultivator, medical, or event license.

Cannabis Wholesaler

  • Application Fee: $5,000

  • Initial License Fee: $5,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $10,000

This license entitles the holder to buy immature cannabis plants and seedlings, cannabis flower, cannabis products, lower-potency hemp edibles, and hemp-derived consumer products from and sell to licensed cannabis microbusinesses, cannabis mezzo businesses, cannabis cultivators, cannabis manufacturers, and cannabis microbusinesses. A cannabis wholesale license also allows the holder to buy hemp concentrate as well as hemp plant parts and propagules from industrial hemp growers and processes. Some main points:

  • Wholesalers are not allowed to produce new products, only buying and selling existing products. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Wholesalers can also hold a transporter, delivery, or event organizer license. 

Cannabis Transporter

  • Application Fee: $250

  • Initial License Fee: $500

  • Renewal License Fee: $1,000

A cannabis transporter license is required to move cannabis and hemp plant parts as well as cannabis and hemp products between licensed marijuana businesses in Minnesota. This license authorizes the holder to transport both medical and adult-use cannabis products. Some main points:

  • You cannot grow, produce or sell but services the industry. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Transporter can also hold a wholesaler, delivery, or event organizer license. 

​​

Cannabis Testing Facility

  • Application Fee: $5,000

  • Initial License Fee: $5,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $10,000

A testing facility license is required for an independent third-party laboratory to obtain and test cannabis and hemp products grown or manufactured by licensed cannabis businesses in Minnesota. Some main points:

  • As of now, Legislation is stating only allowing five (5) in-state licenses to be issued through the first two (2) years (or 2027),

  • Dual License Availability? No. Testing facilities may not hold any other cannabis or hemp licenses. 

Cannabis Event Organizer

  • Application Fee: $750

  • Initial License Fee: $750

  • Renewal License Fee: $0 as of now

This license authorizes the holder to organize a temporary cannabis event lasting up to 4 days. Some main points:

  • Cannabis must be transported by a licensed transporter. 

  • You cannot allow sales by unlicensed cannabis providers. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Can hold any license except Testing Facility. 

 

Cannabis Delivery Service

  • Application Fee: $750

  • Initial License Fee: $750

  • Renewal License Fee: $0 as of now

A cannabis delivery service license is required by any entity intending to deliver cannabis and hemp products sold by licensed retailers to consumers. Some main points:

  • Must have a locked storage compartment. Limits per trip have not been set. 

  • Dual License Availability? Yes. Can also hold a transporter, retail, wholesaler or event organizer license. 

​​

Lower-Potency Hemp Edible Manufacturer

  • Application Fee: $250 (per location)

  • Initial License Fee: $1,000

  • Renewal License Fee: $1,000

This license allows the holder to purchase hemp plant and plant parts as well as hemp concentrate and artificially derived cannabinoids from licensed cannabis and hemp businesses. Licensees can also manufacture hemp concentrate, artificially derived cannabinoids, and lower-potency hemp edibles and sell these to hemp and cannabis businesses in the state. Main points:

  • The office of Cannabis Mgmt. must approve of chemicals used during the conversion process.

  • Multiple Licensee Options: You can also hold a hemp retail and cultivating license. 

Lower-Potency Hemp Edible Retailer

  • Application Fee: $250 (per location)

  • Initial License Fee: $250 (per location)

  • Renewal License Fee: $250 (per location)

Retailers with this license can buy lower-potency hemp edibles obtained from licensed cannabis and hemp businesses allowed to manufacture them. Licensees can also sell lower-potency hemp edibles to adults aged 21 or older. Some main points:

  • Hemp retailers can also sell products, including alcohol. 

  • Onsite consumption is allowed if permitted within the space.

  • Multiple Licensee Options: You can also hold a hemp manufacturing and cultivating license.

MN Cannabis Licensing

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