They won't say who, but the American Cannabis Company is counseling a group of "Minnesota-based entrepreneurs" who want to become manufacturers of the new state-sanctioned medicine.
ACC got off the ground last year in Colorado, working with local applicants, but has since expanded to include clients across the U.S. and as far as the eastern seaboard of Canada. Trent Woloveck, the company COO, says his team will be tasked with meeting Minnesota regulatory standards while "bringing what our best practices are from these more mature markets."
The details are still murky, but they won't be for long. The public will get a good look at the challenges facing certified medical cannabis manufacturers on Aug. 8. A meeting is schedule to begin at 10 a.m. in the Skjegstad Room of the Minnesota Department of Revenue Building, located at 600 Robert Street North, St. Paul. (RSVP with an organizer.)
A draft request for manufacturers is due out in August, and the state expects to pick two firms by December (as determined by law) who will stock eight dispensaries. Patients with qualifying conditions are supposed to begin receiving non-leafy forms of cannabis by July 1 2015 -- a date that could be pushed back six months if the state feels it isn't ready.
Whoever ACC is counseling will have an advantage in the applicant pool, which is expected to be large. Several individuals have already declared their intentions of building grow stations. One, a retired veterinarian named Marshall Brinton, is expected to go before the Willmar, Minnesota, planning commission tonight in hopes of getting a permit to convert his old labs.
Brinton, who once produced poultry vaccines, told the West Central Tribune earlier this week, "When Minnesota passed the law, I researched how to do this. But I discovered I've got most of the equipment in the building already." As well as the state application fee -- $20,000.
In case you've been too stoned to notice, cannabis is quickly becoming a lucrative business, both for the state's that allow it and for the start-ups that base their energy on it, like the American Cannabis Company.
CEO Corey Hollister, who used to co-own a medical cannabis center in Boulder, tells us that, when looking for a Minnesota client, he chose a group of locals who wanted to run and staff the business itself.
"That's important for us," he says, "that they're not just people on the green rush who think this is gonna be a one-day to a million-dollar ticket, because that's not a reality."