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Community Engagement Best Practices for Minnesota Cannabis Entrepreneurs

By Colleen Mitchell

Jul 31, 2023

After legalizing adult-use cannabis with the passage of HF 100 in Spring 2023, Minnesota is slated to hold a competitive licensing application process in 2024. In addition to staying up-to-date with the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM)’s rulemaking process, interested applicants should begin identifying the locales where they would like to operate and start engaging with those communities. Read on to learn community engagement best practices for those looking to start a successful cannabis business in Minnesota. 

Monitor and Participate in the Local Cannabis Rulemaking Process 

Local governments across Minnesota are beginning to draft ordinances regulating or restricting cannabis businesses, so it is imperative that interested applicants get involved in the initial rulemaking process and continue to pay close attention to all relevant local updates.  

Getting involved in the local rulemaking process early can help mitigate negative outcomes which would hinder your ability to operate or use a specific parcel of property. Reach out to Vicente LLP for assistance with monitoring the rulemaking process in certain localities and in drafting memos to local officials seeking more information on topics of concern.  

Engage with Local Government Officials 

In Minnesota, local governments have a dedicated role in the state licensing process. Local governments will be provided a copy of an applicant’s submission and be asked to confirm that the proposed facility complies with their local zoning ordinances and state fire and building code, as applicable. The local government may also provide more general input on the application, including additional information they believe is relevant to the OCM’s decision on whether to issue a license.  

It is never too early to start engaging with local officials in your desired community. Contact Vicente LLP for assistance with researching local priorities, developing a company “one-pager” to present to local officials, and drafting letters of support. 

Connect with Local Businesses and Community Leaders in Minnesota 

In addition to government officials, it is important to build support with local business owners and community leaders, as local cannabis policy decision-makers often value their input. Vicente LLP can prepare letters of support for community leaders and help identify businesses/community groups for outreach and support. 

It is never too early to start preparing for licensing by performing targeted and informed community outreach! Please contact us for assistance in achieving your goals in this new cannabis market.  

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