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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library


Office of Cannabis Management

Also known as:
OCM
Active dates:2023 -
Function:

The Office of Cannabis Management is established to develop, maintain, and enforce an organized system of regulation for the cannabis industry and hemp consumer industry in Minnesota. The office must promote the public health and welfare; protect public safety; eliminate the illicit market for cannabis flower and cannabis products; meet the market demand for cannabis flower and cannabis products; promote a craft industry for cannabis flower and cannabis products; and prioritize growth and recovery in communities that have experienced a disproportionate, negative impact from cannabis prohibition. Additional duties are described in law at Minn. Stat. 342.02. Reporting requirements for the office are outlined in Minn. Stat. 342.04.

History:

Minnesota legalized marijuana for adult recreational use in 2023. More details about the history of this and related legislation are found in the Legislative Reference Library's Minnesota Issues Resource Guide: Cannabis

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is assisting with setting up the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and has contracted with Charlene Briner, who is overseeing that work.

Medical cannabis was legalized in Minnesota in 2014. Since then, that program has been overseen by the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Medical Cannabis. The duties of that office will be transferred to the Office of Cannabis Management's Division of Medical Cannabis on March 1, 2025.

The legislation that legalized cannabis for adult recreational use in 2023 also established many grant programs. The OCM, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, is responsible for awarding CanGrow grants, which are available to eligible organizations to help farmers navigate the regulatory structure of the legal cannabis industry, and to nonprofit corporations to fund loans to farmers for expansion into the legal cannabis industry (see Laws of Minnesota 2023, chapter 63, article 1, section 71).

Job applications for the Director of the OCM were accepted through July 31, 2023, with the expectation that a final candidate would be named in early fall.

Agency heads:

The governor shall appoint a director of the office with the advice and consent of the senate. The director must be in the unclassified service and must serve at the pleasure of the governor. The office may employ other personnel in the classified service necessary to carry out the duties in this chapter.

Gov. Walz appointed Erin DuPree as Director of OCM on September 21, 2023, but she stepped aside the next day amid reports in the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio that she "sold illegal products at her hemp shop."

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Documents/Articles:
Office of Cannabis Management hosts implementation update webinar. League of Minnesota Cities, 2/20/2024.
Minnesota regulators to ask Legislature to fix raw cannabis gap in recreational marijuana law. MinnPost, 2/5/2024.
Governor Walz announces expanded recruitment and application process for Cannabis Director. Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, 1/25/2024.
Minnesota cannabis agency wants streamlined laws for faster dispensary openings. Star Tribune, 1/18/2024.
Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management adds implementation leadership. Office of Cannabis Management, 11/27/2023.
Minnesota still without a permanent cannabis director, but work to set up industry continues. Star Tribune, 11/27/2023.
Minnesota needs a bulldog regulator to oversee nascent cannabis industry. Minnesota Reformer, 11/15/2023.
Minnesota's legislative auditor opens preliminary look into failed cannabis director hiring. Star Tribune, 10/2/2023.
'We got this wrong': Gov. Tim Walz takes responsibility for cannabis director debacle. Star Tribune, 9/24/2023.
Minnesota cannabis director steps down after one day amid report she sold illegal products. Star Tribune, 9/23/2023.
Minnesota cannabis boss quits after questions raised about her background. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), 9/22/2023.
Cannabis company founder picked to oversee Minnesota marijuana market. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), 9/21/2023.
Do first cannabis tax collections understate the size of the hemp-derived edibles business?. MinnPost, 8/23/2023.
Who will be Minnesota's marijuana czar, the daunting job leading new Office of Cannabis Management?. MinnPost, 8/18/2023.
Minnesota opens search for marijuana manager. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), 6/30/2023.
Office of Cannabis Management Director job posting. Minnesota Careers Website, 6/30/2023.
Minnesota moves closer to recreational marijuana market with new agency. Star Tribune, 6/19/2023.
What's in Minnesota's marijuana legalization bill. Minnesota Reformer, 5/31/2023.
Record last updated: 01/25/2024
 

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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