While the vast majority of Minnesota's anticipated cannabis businesses likely won't be able to open until 2024 or 2025, Minnesotans met the August 1 legalization date with one business able to sell, with a second one planning to start service soon.

While possession and usage of recreational marijuana products became legal in Minnesota as of the first day of August, the state's infrastructure for licensing and taxing these types of businesses isn't likely to be in place until sometime in the next year or two.

In the meantime, this is leaving an opening for a couple of businesses in a unique situation to capitalize on being the first of their kind in the state to be operational.

The first dispensary business to provide service for recreational marijuana customers in Minnesota was NativeCare in Red Lake, about 30 miles north of Bemidji in Northwestern Minnesota.

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Reports say that the store had a large line outside of the store, with the business saying on social media they served over 300 people in the store on August 1. They said in a separate post that they have decided to (at least temporarily) shut down their online ordering due to an "overwhelming number of online orders".

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NativeCare was able to provide service to Minnesota customers ages 21 and over starting on the first after the Red Lake Nation's Tribal Council voted in July to legalize recreational marijuana on tribal lands, opening the door for NativeCare, which was previously just a medicinal dispensary, to begin service for recreational customers.

Being tribal governments have sovereignty over marijuana regulations on tribal lands, NativeCare didn't need to wait for the licensing and taxing systems that will hold up other businesses in the state.

Similarly, the White Earth Tribal Council held a vote recently to follow the Red Lake Nation's move to legalize sale to tribal and non-tribal adults 21+. The White Earth Nation is located southwest of the Red Lake Nation, encompassing the area that includes Mahnomen and Waubun, between Bemidji and Fargo.

Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash
Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash

Lakeland Public TV reports White Earth plans to start selling cannabis "in the first half of August" after the tribal council approved the measure on July 28. FOX 9 reports that the dispensary will be at 850 East Adams Avenue in Mahnomen. The report says that the dispensary will be open as of 10 am Thursday, and open Monday-Friday 10 am to 4 pm.

The business, called Waabigwan Mashkiki, appears to be offering online ordering, as well as in-store purchases for flower and preroll products.

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