Anticipating demand, medical marijuana grower announces $8M expansion

Medical marijuana growing facility
Minnesota Medical Solutions employee Guy Lindblom walked through a greenhouse filled with plants at one of the state's two manufacturers of medical marijuana Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Otsego.
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News file
Medical marijuana production facility
Minnesota Medical Solutions says it will finish this 218,000-square-foot medical marijuana production facility in March 2016.
Courtesy Minnesota Medical Solutions

One of the two growers of medical marijuana in Minnesota has announced an $8 million expansion, even before the drug goes on sale legally.

Minnesota Medical Solutions says the new growing and manufacturing facility will go up adjacent to its existing greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. But at 218,000 square feet, it would be eight times bigger.

There will be a big demand for a marijuana compound called Cannabidiol, or CBD, which is aimed at conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, company founder.

"We think that the CBD is going to be very important in the future, and you need additional production capacity to do that," Kingsley said.

The facility will also house a new research lab "for turning cannabis plants into seven different formulations of medicine that are customized for each patient's individual condition and experience," according to a company statement.

The company says it has already harvested more than half a ton of medical marijuana and expects to be able to meet existing demand until the new facility is finished in March 2016.

The state legalized pill and liquid forms of marijuana last year, and it's scheduled to go on sale to approved patients in a little over two weeks.

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