Minnesota medical marijuana manufacturers post million-dollar losses

Medical marijuana in Minnesota is distributed in liquid or pill form.

Buzzkill. According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, Minnesota’s two licensed medical marijuana manufacturers each posted multi-million-dollar losses in their first full year of operation: “Minnesota Medical Solutions posted a $3 million loss in 2015, a period that included the rush to build up facilities, grow and cultivate medicine and the first six months of legal medical marijuana sales. The company also said it lost more than $542,000 in 2014. Meanwhile, LeafLine Labs lost roughly $2.2 million in 2015.”

Maybe reconsider some of these decisions. Dana Melius in the Waseca County News interviews John LaDue, two years after authorities discovered his stockpile of bomb-making supplies in a Waseca storage shed and plans to kill his parents and students at Waseca Junior-Senior High School: “Today, LaDue agrees with the most recent therapists’ evaluation: the 19-year-old suffers from a major depression disorder, is ‘narcissistic’ and has an ‘unspecified’ obsessive, compulsive disorder. But while agreeing with the assessment, LaDue disagrees with recommendations. He is on no medication… ‘Every therapist I’ve met has been a very agreeable person,’ said LaDue, but he’s decided to discontinue seeking professional help. ‘I don’t doubt their credentials at all, but I think they’re wrong. I think I know what’s in my best interests.'”

Godspeed. Emma Sapong at MPR News has the inspiring story of Liberian-born Minnesotan Emmanuel Matadi competing for his home country in the 100 meters on Saturday: “The 25-year-old is one-half of the West African nation’s two-member Olympic team. He hoisted the country’s flag and led its small delegation during the games’ opening ceremony. ‘It was an amazing honor,’ Matadi said. ‘Not a lot of people get a chance to do that.’ Matadi’s rise to the Olympics included escaping a brutal civil war and withstanding homelessness.

We’re gonna need a bigger bowl. Jonathan Stempel at Reuters reports General Mills must face a lawsuit over its marketing of Cheerios Protein: “Though Cheerios Protein has 7 grams of protein per serving versus 3 grams for regular Cheerios, the plaintiffs said the real difference was negligible because the serving size of Cheerios Protein, and the calorie content per serving, was twice as big. The plaintiffs also called the Cheerios Protein name misleading because it said nothing about the 16 or 17 grams of sugar in a serving, versus a single gram in regular Cheerios.”

Senseless. Jaime Delage at the Pioneer Press has the awful story of how a Northeast Minneapolis neighbor feud over a lawnmower turned deadly: “According to the criminal complaint, Holzinger had been sitting on the porch with his gun as early as 5:30 that evening. A woman renting a room from Holzinger told police she asked him what he was doing and he said he was ‘waiting for that son of a bitch Bruce.’ He said he was going to shoot Brown if he came over again, she told police.”

In other news…

Justice: “Former Minnesota banker ousted because he’s gay, court rules” [Star Tribune]

Jim Walsh interviews Ilhan Omar: “It feels like a brighter day” [Southwest Journal]

Adopt me, please: “‘Miss Kitty’ spends $20,000 to save cancer-stricken cat” [Rochester Post-Bulletin]

Gar-mentum. “Wisconsin GOP Rep. Reid Ribble ‘definitely leaning’ toward voting for Gary Johnson” [Buzzfeed]

St. Cloud art aficionados: “Voting open for favorite sculpture” [St. Cloud Times]

Oh fer cute: “Reader photos: Dog days of summer” [Star Tribune]

Has she learned to park yet? “Meet the woman who inspired Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette'” [City Pages]

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Jim Million on 08/12/2016 - 02:32 pm.

    Pot & Plan

    Both firms unfortunately built expensive infrastructure based on Departmental calculations of 5,000 first year patient clients. We just made 2,000 with the late addition of chronic pain patients. So far, most of us dedicated to the initial physical benefit findings are hanging in while managing program expenses where possible. Some have dropped out due to inability to pay current prices, also to finding “street” sources. That’s unfortunate in terms of program database expansion and perhaps patient safety.

    Both vendors are expanding locations, so they are positive at least short term. The unfortunate resistance of what I have termed the “DocBlock” continues to unfairly restrict patient access. This parochial defense of convention is apparently more prevalent in Minnesota’s program than in others.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/12/2016 - 08:58 pm.

    Business losses

    Isn’t it kind of an accepted norm that new businesses don’t generally begin making a profit for something like the first 3-5 years? (Startup costs and all that sort of thing.)

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/13/2016 - 08:24 am.

      Often True

      In this case the losses significantly exceed projections due to enrollment realities. In the case of MN Med Solutions, depending on how they capitalized all ventures, they may have some contribution from other programs, but don’t know. They did immediately take their Minnesota concept to New York State, where it was quickly adopted. Even if that program were quickly profitable, it would not directly subsidize losses here.
      New York may be an entirely different entity, possibly with different investors. In any case, Minnesota program losses still greatly exceed plans and projections, meaning a delayed break-even point.

      Both operators here reportedly intend to keep going, as evidenced by recent expansion announcements.

  3. Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/14/2016 - 10:12 am.

    Got to be a first

    I’m not sure how it’s possible to lose money selling weed.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 08/15/2016 - 04:32 am.

      Put the MN Legislature on the job, and they’ll find a way.

      I am quite sure there are plenty of stoners in giggling fits over the antics of the “entrepreneurs”, the medical professionals, the anti-drug zealots, and of course, our elected legislators – as expressed in this RIDICULOUS program.

      Trouble is, it ain’t funny, as so many who could benefit – whose suffering could be diminished – continue to suffer, or more likely, buy the street product.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/15/2016 - 11:48 am.


        The legislators who limited the program to just this are cruel and ignorant. It will change in time, but that doesn’t help those who need it now.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/15/2016 - 09:15 am.

      Good Laughing Blather

      Ain’t it the truth, except these outfits aren’t selling “weed,” but refined compounds as capsules and oils.

      Problem #1: Most participants are serious “regular folk,” who are risk-averse Minnesotans, many seeking last hope solutions for impaired children. After far too many years of conventional (failed) medical treatments, they seek personal/family help while also hoping to help others through data accumulation and experiential testimony. Why else would some absorb the very high price of some remedies?

      Problem #2: The State of Minnesota (legislators, regulators, lobbyists, etc) stubbornly refuses to consider a Colorado open market plan. When living in the land of 10,000 parochial and provincial traditions, the only way to break barriers is one concrete block at a time.

      Problem #3: Street vendors are still mostly hiding in shadows, afraid to step a little more forward. Maybe they’re doing such great business they don’t need to approach this population. Maybe they are simply too “risk-averse.”

      Problem #4: This is Minnesota. [Oops, maybe I do have the order upside down.]

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