Meet the woman tasked with regulating Minnesota's new legal marijuana market
Driving the news: Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday named Erin DuPree as the state's first director of the Office of Cannabis Management. She starts Oct. 2.
Why it matters: The director will play a key role in establishing and regulating the state's legal marijuana marketplace.
Catch up fast: While growing and possessing marijuana for personal use has been legal since Aug. 1, state officials will spend the next year-plus preparing for commercial sales.
- That work will include everything from developing the licensing systems for cultivators and businesses to finalizing rules related to product testing, labeling and packaging.
Zoom in: DuPree is the founder, vice president of sales and operations and head of research and development at the Apple Valley-based Loonacy Cannabis Co.
- While she has not worked in government — which is something the job posting emphasized as sought-after experience — her resume includes work advising businesses and start-ups on strategy and growth.
What she's saying: DuPree told reporters Thursday that her consulting and contract work related to cannabis has made her familiar with the bureaucracy and regulation needed in other states.
- She said her experience launching cannabis-related businesses and understanding of the industry will translate to the new role, which she likened to running a "giant start-up."
Of note: DuPree said she is in the process of selling her own businesses to eliminate any conflict of interest in her new role.
What we're watching: The Legislature will likely make additional tweaks to the law, which passed this spring, during next year's session.
- Supporters expect dispensaries that aren't located on tribal lands to open their doors by January 2025.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from DuPree.
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