The St. Paul, was a sharp but sunny afternoon on the last day of February, and rise broadly smiled as she clients fresh bits behind the signs of the young woman dark eyeliner and Goth makeup behind the pharmacy counter in Vandalia Street offices of dispensaries Handed-off history, one smokable marijuana roll at a time.
With less public pomp, Rise – earlier known as Lefline Labs – started selling the rolls and jars of adult medical marijuana users “buds” or dried, raw cannabis flowers, such sales minesota was legal.
For the state’s growing medicinal marijuana industry, the date marked a long-awaited breakthrough.
The sale of legal medical marijuana officially began on July 1, 2015, but at the time it was signed into law by the then-government. Mark Dayton, the state law that authorized those sales, was widely regarded as the most restrictive of its kind in the nation.
A patient must meet one of nine key eligibility conditions to receive marijuana in a liquid, pill or vaporized delivery method. The smoking “pot” was still off the table.
State law has since lax, at least by a pinch. In addition to what is now 17 qualifying conditions, “we now have ‘chronic pain’ and a lot of things that come under chronic pain, that’s a big one,” Sarah Lynch, for Minnesota Dispensaries of Rise said the commercial general manager.
Still, the industry as a legal option is nascent and restricted relative to many other states that have legalized cannabis, but are expanding.
What was once limited to back-alley transactions has shifted to a new, more regulated and corporatised space. In Minnesota, only two companies — Rise and Green Goods — are authorized to operate cannabis dispensaries, and their approach is night-to-day compared to the illegal market.
Minnesota moving to mid-level regulations
That commercial space still includes—but is not limited to—products heavy on CBD, a chemical in cannabis or the cannabis plant that produces relaxation without the high associated with marijuana’s high THC levels. CBD products, which are becoming more common in everything from gas stations and coffee shops to health food stores, are legal under federal law but are still banned in some states.
At Minnesota dispensaries, customers can choose from products with both CBD and THC levels, mixing and matching preferences.
“In addition to flowers, Minnesota is going to be in the middle of the pack on the regulated side,” said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, chief executive officer of Minneapolis-based Goodness Growth Holdings, which operates eight green goods dispensary locations in Minnesota and four other states. In. “There are a number of states that have CBD-only laws, like Iowa, which certainly have restrictive limits on THC levels.”
Kingsley said that his involvement with health care providers. “In general, it’s been a thoughtful, incremental program, and it’s a good approach if you want to regulate things well for patients. Things are going in the right direction.”
In Minnesota, patients or caregivers must be registered with the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, which requires annual renewal. Rise, which was acquired by Green Thumb Industries, a multi-state operator, in December grew its product in Cottage Grove and operates six dispensaries across the state, including a new site in Egan and Mankato.
Shipping of cannabis products out of the state is still illegal. It is the only legal dispensary in operation in St. Paul, hosting one of the company’s larger retail outlets.
Under state law, Rise can only open two more locations.
“We’ll open more,” Lynch said. “I still can’t say where.”
Green Goods, its only authorized competitor, advertises stores in Minneapolis, Burnsville, Woodbury, Blaine, Duluth, and a handful of sites outside the metro as far away as Moorhead, Minn.
Relaxation in rules, prices of flowers cheaper
Despite significant regulation, as the latest door to open within the state’s relatively new medicinal marijuana landscape, kale sales have added a traditional and new dimension to distribution, which still offers pre-orders and 90-day supplies. Organized through sales. In short: buds are cheap.
“This is new to us, smokable blossoms,” Lynch said. “It’s got to be a single extract market.”
And those concentrated extracts are pricier, mainly because vapor oils, lozenges, sublingual sprays and capsules require more processing.
Hugo’s medicinal marijuana user Todd Roswell said a half-gram vapor cartridge costs him about $55 to $65, while 3½ grams of high-grade dried cannabis flowers sell for about $45 to $55, or low- The range options are also cheap. Given the quality control, and the lack of pesticides and contaminants, the product is safer and more expensive than the illegal market, making resale unlikely.
Still, the flower is “more affordable,” he said. “I think it gives more people access. As more dispensaries open, it’s like any market – more supply will drive the price down. One of the problems with the state of Minnesota is that They have narrowed the market down to just two companies.”
Peter Ingersoll, president of the cannabis division for a San Diego-based commercial real estate brokerage, sees an upside to a duplex: a commercialization of services. In Minnesota, he said, having only 17 dispensary locations “will keep prices high,[but]better than flooding the market with hundreds of hobbyists who are all going to fail,” he said.
Elsewhere, “shareholder lawsuits, half-done projects and receivership litter the playing field,” Ingersoll wrote in a recent industry update for Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates. That said, “this industry will soon be legit and will continue to grow in the double digits for several decades.”
Many consider federal legalization mandatory
To date, some 37 states have legalized some level of medical marijuana use, and 18 states have decriminalized it completely, allowing recreational use. Ingersoll said the most industry-savvy, considering federal legalization of cannabis inevitable, even if not now, it’s still at least three to five years away, as it has to be a priority for President Joe Biden’s administration. Does not appear to be estimated.
Minnesota, regulation is lax in other ways. Minnesota Department of Cancer, the official list of health eligibility conditions, HIV / AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome and incurable disease at expanding over time to the period of 17 categories, including one year of life expectancy has gone.
State as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 manual that certain conditions such as intractable pain, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorder are more fluid or difficult to diagnose and quantify To know, added.
Nevertheless, the Minnesota legislature has ruled out more common conditions such as anxiety and depression, which some psychologists have compared to the common cold as to their frequency in the general population.
Roswell, 48, once traveled 100 days a year in her job as the national representative for a large Twin Cities construction group. He decided he needed a change of pace, so he visited a friend’s marijuana farm in rural Colorado in the summer of 2020 to learn more about the industry.
Instead, he strangled the grilled bratwurst. His friends performed CPR, which saved his life, but he had eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and a torn sternum. It was the worst pain of his life, he recalled.
After a few days on heavy pain medications, Roswell was prescribed morphine, or OxyContin, to recover without relying on opioids, “which are highly addictive, and I had nothing to do with it,” he said. said.
Within seven days he was moving towards cannabis.
“When you take morphine or OxyContin, you can’t function,” he said. “You’re sleeping. It’s going to knock me over and I need to lie on the couch.”
Instead, he smoked the pot. “When I was determined that in Colorado, it was amazing,” said Rosewell. “But when I got back to Minnesota, I was able to get it. Compared to Colorado or any other state where it has been legalized, hard to get it in Minnesota in any form and quite expensive.
He turned to cannabis pills instead, and later to cannabis vaporizer cartridges and lotions. Since the legalization of the smokeable flower in late February, he’s also been buying marijuana buds from Rise St. Paul’s dispensary.
After months away from the workplace, Roswell’s next goal is to break into legitimate sales and distribution, he said.
“There’s a kind of stigma around it because of how it’s been viewed in this country over the past 100 years,” he acknowledged. “But it has a lot of benefits; we’re just starting to scratch the surface. Obviously, there’s responsible use. We’re not talking about hippies in the ’60s, just sitting around all day. (Just watch ) the amount of people serving time, who are in the minority, to sell something that can be used as beneficial.