Minnesota regulators are calling on lawmakers to create a central state cannabis office to oversee the booming markets for hemp, CBD and medical pot — which they say are quickly expanding beyond their grasp.
Officials from the state Pharmacy Board and the departments of Agriculture, Health and Public Safety have pitched the idea of an Office of Cannabis Management to govern the budding industry and prepare Minnesota for the potential legalization of recreational marijuana. They say having a one-stop shop for all things cannabis, like other states have established, would streamline efforts and bring a variety of expertise under the same roof.
Thousands of Minnesotans have driven these markets to new heights in recent years. Patient enrollment in the medical cannabis program grew 27% from 2018 to 2019 and now exceeds 18,000. The number of hemp farmers grew eightfold — from about 50 to 400 — in the same span. And consumer CBD products are popping up in the unlikeliest of places, from convenience stores to pet shops.