It's very rare for a state to legalize medical marijuana and stick to timelines surrounding rule-making and implementation, especially when it comes to dispensaries. Illinois is a great example. Illinois took way longer than expected to even license medical marijuana growers and dispensaries, and patients are still waiting for their medicine. Cases like Illinois are why I always point out the need for home cultivation provisions. Without a home cultivation provision, patients in states that drag their feet have no choice but to either go without medicine, or purchase it from an unregulated blackmarket.
In somewhat surprising news, Minnesota will not be a state that experiences delays in implementation. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
Many states have taken years to implement MMJ laws, develop regulations and get the first businesses up and running. Minnesota, on the other hand, passed a law just last spring legalizing non-smokeable medical cannabis, and dispensaries are now on track to open to the public on July 1.
"We are aiming to open three of our four dispensaries in July, and hopefully the fourth one will be in August," said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, CEO of Minnesota Medical Solutions (also known as MinnMed).
Leafline Labs, the other MMJ producing and dispensing company licensed by the state, is also on track for the summer, said co-founder Dr. Andrew Bachman.
"We're ahead of schedule in construction (and) production and will certainly have medicine available to be dispensed on July 1," Bachman said.
Minnesota has one of the most strict medical marijuana programs in the country. Patients will not be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, and instead can only consume medical marijuana in vapor or edible form. Many conditions that qualify a patient in other states will not qualify a patient in Minnesota. With that being said, this is still good news for the patients that do qualify, and I'm hopeful that after the program is implemented and patients start using the dispensaries, that the program will expand.