Real Property: The Minnesota Medical Cannabis Act and its impact on the Minnesota Real Estate Industry
1.0 CLE credit applied for this program.
Featuring: Todd M. Phelps, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP
On May 29, 2014, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bipartisan medical marijuana law, making Minnesota the 22nd state (at that time) to legalize some form of medical cannabis. By July 1, 2015, two medical cannabis manufacturers, who are registered with the Minnesota Department of Health, will begin dispensing medical cannabis to Minnesota patients who meet certain qualifying medical conditions.
Today, over half of all states and the District of Columbia allow for the medical use of marijuana in some capacity. However, under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, and it remains illegal under federal law for any person to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess marijuana, or for anyone to "knowingly facilitate such activities".
There are numerous challenges for attorneys and other real estate professional in complying with complicated (and conflicting) state and federal statutes, rules and guidance in this area. The primary impacts on the real estate industry include evaluating the potential risks of violating the CSA against the potential business opportunities as well as understanding the unique twists on more traditional real estate issues like, zoning and land use, title and restrictive covenants, insurance coverage, environmental, utility usage (water, electricity, heating, ventilating and HVAC), and others.
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