Minn. House OKs bill that would speed licensing of dispensaries – Sahan Journal

This story comes to you from MPR News through a partnership with Sahan Journal.

The Minnesota House voted Thursday to speed up the process for getting cannabis dispensaries lined up by giving them a route to preapproval of operating licenses.

On a 69-62 vote, lawmakers voted to allow the office to start issuing license preapprovals as early as this summer. Supporters say that would allow them to secure funding, rent real estate and take other steps to get up and running. They still wouldn’t be allowed to commercially grow or sell the marijuana itself.

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“A number of provisions in this bill are designed to expedite the process of setting up a good legitimate marketplace for cannabis to displace that illicit marketplace that’s out there,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids. 

The proposal would also put the Office of Cannabis Management in charge of enforcement for hemp-derived edible products and medical marijuana. Those responsibilities currently fall to the Department of Health. Many of the recommendations in the bill came from the new agency overseeing the marijuana market. 

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