laptop phone pen pens application apply

More Than 700 Minnesota Cannabis Social Equity Business Applications Received In First 24 Hours

Starting on Monday, June 24th, 2024, the State of Minnesota began accepting adult-use cannabis business license applications from social equity applicants. In the first 24 hours after the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management’s online application went live, regulators reportedly received over 700 applications.

Social equity applicants get to apply for recreational cannabis business licenses in Minnesota ahead of non-social equity applicants. The deadline to submit a social equity application is 11:59 p.m. on July 10th. The first opportunity for non-social equity applicants to apply for licenses begins July 24th, 2024 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 12th.

Part of Minnesota’s legalization model involves the creation of a social equity category for industry licenses. Minnesota’s social equity program prioritizes business applications from Minnesotans who have been harmed by past cannabis prohibition policies.

According to a recent analysis by Minnesota Reformer, “between 30% and 40% of Minnesota adults could plausibly qualify as “social equity” applicants for cannabis business licenses.” The current criteria for Minnesota’s social equity program include:

  • Lived for five years in a neighborhood where more than 20% of people are in poverty or on food stamps, or where the median income is less than 80% of the statewide or metro area
  • Lived for five years in a neighborhood with high levels of social vulnerability as defined by the Centers for Disease Control
  • Military veteran or member of the National Guard
  • Convicted of a cannabis offense in the past, or had a close family member convicted of an offense
  • Manages a small farm with less than $100,000 in annual sales
  • Lived for five years in a neighborhood that has seen a “disproportionate” rate of prior cannabis enforcement, as determined in a forthcoming study by the Office of Cannabis Management

Recreational cannabis sales in Minnesota are expected to launch some time in 2025. According to a market projection from last year, Minnesota’s legal cannabis sales are expected to reach $1.5 billion annually by 2029. That is up from a projected $550 million that is estimated to occur during the first year of legal recreational cannabis sales.

Below are the types and amounts of non-social equity recreational cannabis business licenses up for grabs in Minnesota, to be awarded by a lottery selection process this fall, via original reporting by CBS News:

  • Cannabis microbusiness: 100
  • Cannabis mezzobusiness: 25
  • Cannabis cultivators: 13
  • Cannabis manufacturers: 6
  • Cannabis retailers (dispensaries): 38
  • Cannabis wholesalers: 20
  • Cannabis transporter: 20
  • Cannabis testing: 50
  • Cannabis delivery: 10

Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize cannabis for recreational use when lawmakers adopted an adult-use legalization measure in 2023. Minnesota’s adult-use cannabis legalization measure became effective on August 1st, 2023. Medical cannabis is also permitted in Minnesota.