The Minnesota Department of Health will post manufacturing rules Friday to guide applicants who are interested in being one of two medical cannabis manufacturers in the state.
In a draft document, the department will set out cultivation, processing and distribution rules, along with security and financial requirements. They will help department officials gauge whether applicants are capable of meeting the needs of the state's new medical cannabis program, which launches in July of 2015, Assistant Commissioner Manny Munson-Regala said.
"That's to ensure that they can provide medication to patients that is of a known consistency and quality at an affordable price," he said. "Those are some interesting traps for manufacturers to meet, but that are the standards that we are going to be expecting them to meet."
Munson-Regala told members of the state's medical cannabis task force Thursday that Minnesota will have to find its own manufacturers because the federal government will not supply medical cannabis to the state.
He said Minnesota's legislation does not meet the National Institute on Drug Abuse's standard of only providing medical cannabis for federally approved medical trials.
Munson-Regala said many interested parties have already inquired about the manufacturing requirements.
"They range from folks who have experience with [medical cannabis in] other states to folks who run local nurseries and growing hydroponic tomatoes and those kinds of things, law firms, medical providers who are interested in the therapeutic possibilities — a range of diverse individuals," he said.
The state is sponsoring an Aug. 8 conference in St. Paul for interested manufacturers. Munson-Regala said the location may need to be changed because interest appears to be greater than what the venue can accommodate.