Minnesota County Considering Operating Cannabis Dispensary

Officials in Cook County, Minnesota are considering opening a municipally owned cannabis dispensary that would “create a new revenue stream for county government.” The county already operates a municipal liquor store and the dispensary arrangement would be similar.

Full story after the jump.

Officials in Cook County, Minnesota are considering operating a municipal cannabis dispensary, WTIP reports. The county currently runs a liquor store in Grand Marais and the arrangement for the dispensary would be similar. 

County Administrator James Joerke told WTIP that officials are interested in a county-run dispensary “because it would create a new revenue stream for county government” that could potentially be used to offset the county levy.  

Were the county to open a dispensary, they would purchase the cannabis products from a non-county entity, most likely a grower unaffiliated with any form of local government. Commissioner Dave Mills compared the scenario to that of the liquor store in Grand Marais – in that the city does not distill its own liquor, but buys it from someone else and then sells it. 

To curb federal law, Mills suggested that the Cook County Economic Development Authority (EDA) could be the organization that actually has claim to the dispensary. However, he said that the EDA Board of Directors did not have “a whole lot of comfort” about the plan. 

According to Minnesota Department of Revenue data outlined by WTIP, the state received nearly $600,000 in sales tax alone through August 21. According to Revenue Department data, the sales tax is projected to provide $15.4 million in additional funding to the state’s General Fund in Fiscal Year 2024, $50 million in 2025, and $84 million and in 2026. 

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