There are a lot of lucrative opportunities in the marijuana industry. In a lot of areas cannabis entrepreneurs are doing very well in virtually all sectors of the industry. But there is a growing trend in some states where the opposite is happening, which is something that I have talked about a lot on this blog. As predicted, things are not going so well in ultra-strict medical marijuana states.
Minnesota is one of those states. Minnesota has one of the most strict medical marijuana programs in the country, which was by design. Minnesota politicians wanted a very regulated program, and also wanted to grant the rights to growing and distributing medical marijuana to just two entities. I remember once upon a time when leading up to the announcement of the business licenses winners in Minnesota, media (both mainstream and marijuana media) acted like whoever won those licenses basically won the lottery. One has to assume that business interests played a big role in how Minnesota’s medical marijuana law was shaped.
Now one of the two companies that is licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Minnesota announced that it would halt expansion due to low patient numbers. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of just two companies licensed in the state to produce and sell medical cannabis, announced this week that it’s delaying opening its final two dispensaries until the spring because of low patient numbers.
The company, also known as MinnMed, has so far opened two of its four locations allowed under state law, one in Rochester and one in Minneapolis.
But the state’s lower-than-expected patient count, which stood at just 395 as of last week, means that the cost of opening more dispensaries is prohibitive, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“The patient numbers just don’t justify immediately opening these satellite locations,” MinnMed CEO Kyle Kingsley told the paper. “It’s strictly price control for our patients. We want to minimize expenses.”
Minnesota patients deserve a real medical marijuana program. I guarantee a big reason why the numbers are so low in Minnesota is because most patients have stuck with the black market because it’s easier than jumping through all of the hoops. And even more patients don’t even have the option of jumping through hoops because their condition isn’t one of the handful of conditions that qualify in Minnesota. Minnesota patients deserve a program that recognizes all conditions that benefit from cannabis, and patients deserve to grow their own cannabis if they see fit. Short of that, and the program will always have issues.