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The MN Cannabis Business Rules are Set. Time to Get Cannabizin.


The Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will start accepting Social Equity applications by July 24, 2024, and the application period will end on August 12, 2024.


Applicants must meet OCM's minimum standards to qualify. Entities must be 65% or more owned by social equity applicants. Those primarily impacted by the War on Drugs and veterans will have the first opportunity to enter the industry. The final bill did not include women who own women-owned businesses as a category of social equity applicants.


People with marijuana-related convictions before May 1, 2023, are eligible. Convictions after this date disqualify the person. All military veterans now qualify. Those who have been a resident for the last five years of one or more subareas that experienced a disproportionately large amount of cannabis enforcement (but we don't have maps for this yet) or Those who have been a resident for the last five years were;

a. the poverty rate was more than 20%;

b. the median family income did not exceed 80% of the statewide or metropolitan area's median family income;

c. at least 20% of the households receive assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) or

d. the population has a high level of vulnerability to toxic substances, as laid out by the CDC or

e. Those who have participated in the business operation of a farm for at least three years and currently provide the majority of the day-to-day physical labor and management of a farm that grossed between $5000 and $100,000 in the previous year.


Early Cultivation:

For those who qualify for Social Equity, the current bill allows for Early Cultivation once they receive preapproval. They must provide documentation that they will comply with local zoning ordinances, state fire and building codes, and other applicable Minnesota rules. This presents a significant opportunity for the Minnesota Craft Cannabis community and for Social Equity applicants to be the first to market!


Application Caps:

The new bill also confirms that a maximum number of licenses will be granted within the social equity round and sets caps for each license type. These numbers are as follows:

(1) cannabis microbusiness licenses, 100;

(2) cannabis mezzobusiness licenses, 25;

(3) cannabis cultivator licenses, 13;

(4) cannabis manufacturer licenses, 6;

(5) cannabis retailer licenses, 38;

(6) cannabis wholesaler licenses, 20;

(7) cannabis transporter licenses, 20;

(8) cannabis testing facility licenses, 50; and

(9) cannabis delivery service licenses, 10


Round 2 in 2025

In the second round (1Q2025) for regular applications, OCM has said there will be no such cap on licenses for microbusinesses. Now that this legislative session is over and this has been confirmed, as the kids say, this is "No Cap." That means that as long as a micro license applicant meets OCM's qualifications to get into the lottery, they will be allowed to open a business. A bonus for the craft business market. 

The licenses that will definitely have a cap in the whole round are:

(1) cannabis cultivator licenses, 25;

(2) cannabis manufacturer licenses, 12;

(3) cannabis retailer licenses, 75; and

(4) cannabis mezzobusiness licenses, 50.


Actual Parties of Interest:

One big area Carpfish Creative expressed feedback to the committee, and senators were lottery stacking, which will now be very hard to do.

Each application or license may only have one "True Party of Interest." An individual can be listed on multiple permits only if they own less than 10% of the equity in the other business. The True Party of Interest rules also mandate disclosure of the entity's funding sources and ownership of all entities in the ownership structure.


New MN Caregiver Grow Bill

The new bill also confirms that those who are registered as designated caregivers may cultivate up to eight plants on behalf of ONE patient and up to eight plants for themselves. To learn more about this, see https://www.healingfearconsulting.com/


No More 5-Hour Rule for Establishments!

Originally, HF100 had a rule prohibiting hemp-derived retailers from serving hemp-derived THC beverages to individuals who had consumed alcohol within the previous five hours. This was later changed to a more reasonable requirement, stating that hemp-derived drinks cannot be sold or served to an "obviously intoxicated person," aligning with alcohol serving regulations at bars and restaurants.




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Carpfish Creative is collaborating with advisors to launch a new industry-wide application and licensing format with input from the National Cannabis Community and local experts. The program will launch in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for updates!

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