If you plan on operating a cannabis testing business, you will need a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license. Minnesota's market is expected to exceed $1.4 billion in annual sales, and the state will need additional testing labs to service the market. This article will provide you with a guide on how to start a cannabis testing laboratory in Minnesota. We will discuss the requirements for testing labs in Minnesota and the license application process. Then we provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to win a cannabis testing license in Minnesota.
However, if you prefer to speak to our Minnesota cannabis testing consultants on the phone, please schedule a call for a free consultation.
Table of Contents:
Requirements for Minnesota Cannabis Testing Facility Licensees
As a cannabis testing facility in Minnesota, you are authorized to obtain and test cannabis and hemp:
However, to obtain a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license, you must meet the following requirements:
Possess a facility and equipment;
Install and develop testing procedures on your equipment; and
Be accredited by an approved laboratory accrediting organization.
Besides develop procedures for analyzing cannabinoid and terpenoid potency, you must also develop procedures for testing cannabis in Minnesota for contaminants, including:
In addition to the requirements above, you must apply and be approved for a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license. The next section summarizes the license application process.
License Application Overview for a Minnesota Cannabis Testing Facility
In this section, our cannabis testing laboratory consultants in Minnesota breakdown the business license application process, including timelines, required documentation, and fees.
Timeline for Issuing Minnesota Cannabis Testing Business Licenses
On May 30, 2023, Minnesota became the 23rd state in the U.S. to legalize adult-use cannabis. Adult-use retail sales are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025. Thus, the State will likely publish applications for licenses in early 2024.
However, our Minnesota cannabis testing consultants suggest you begin preparing for your license application immediately. There are steps you can take now that will improve your chances of obtaining a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license (keep reading to find out).
To apply for a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license, you must write several technical plans describing how you will operate a responsible business. You will also have to submit facility designs, legal contracts, personal information, agreements with labor organizations, and more.
More specifically, your Minnesota cannabis testing facility license application must include:
the address and legal property description of the business;
a general description of the location or locations that the applicant plans to operate, including the planned square feet of planned space for cultivation, wholesaling, and retailing, as applicable;
a security plan;
an attestation signed by a bona fide labor organization stating that the applicant has entered into a labor peace agreement;
a copy of the applicant's business plan showing:
the expected size of the business;
the methods of record keeping;
the knowledge and experience of the applicant and any officer, director, manager, and general partner of the business;
the environmental plan; and
other relevant financial and operational components;
an operating plan demonstrating the proposed layout of the facility, including a diagram of ventilation and filtration systems and policies to avoid sales to unlicensed businesses;
proof of accreditation by a laboratory accrediting organization approved by the office that, at a minimum, requires a laboratory to operate formal management systems under the International Organization for Standardization; and
evidence that the business will comply with the applicable operation requirements for the license being sought.
Your application will be scored and the highest scoring applications will win a license. For this reason, we suggest bringing your best to the table. Work with our Minnesota cannabis testing laboratory consultants to craft an application that will beat the competition.
As part of your Minnesota cannabis testing license application, you are required to pay two fees:
Non-refundable application fee: $10,000
Initial license fee: $10,000
You only need to pay the initial license fee if you are awarded a Minnesota marijuana laboratory license.
Now that you've got a solid grasp of the requirements and application for a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license, let's go over steps you can take now to improve your chances of winning a license.
Guide on How to Start a Cannabis Testing Facility in Minnesota
In this section, our Minnesota cannabis testing consultants provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start a Minnesota cannabis testing laboratory.
Step 1: Read the Laws and Regulations
You should begin by reading the laws and regulations that govern Minnesota cannabis testing facilities. By doing so, you will understand the playing field and how to succeed. You can find a copy of the laws and regulations here.
Step 2: Engage a Consultant
If reading hundreds of pages of laws isn't your cup of tea, do not worry. Team up with our Minnesota cannabis testing consultants to guide you through every step of starting a Minnesota cannabis testing facility business. From business planning to license application writing, our cannabis testing laboratory consultants can make starting a cannabis testing lab in Minnesota easy.
We've helped businesses start cannabis testing facilities across the U.S., and we're prepared to help you start your business. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.
Step 3: Develop a Business Plan for your Minnesota Cannabis Testing Facility
Next is to develop a business plan for your Minnesota cannabis testing facility. You will want to outline the market, estimated revenues, costs, ROI, team expertise, and more. Ideally your business plan should serve as a clear roadmap of your plans so that you can convince investors and talent to join your enterprise.
Its critical that your business plan is accurate. Forecasting a Minnesota cannabis testing facility operation is complex and has many variables. Work with E4 Bioscience to prepare a business plan that will impress any interested party.
Step 4: Raise Capital
Starting a cannabis testing laboratory in Minnesota can cost you between $500,000 - $2,000,000+. Most entrepreneurs bring in outside investments to reduce their risk when starting a Minnesota cannabis testing lab.
Using your business plan, you can prove to investors the value of supporting your Minnesota cannabis testing facility. Having our consultants on your side helps to build investors confidence, since they know you will have the support of experts who know how to succeed in the cannabis testing space.
Step 5: Secure Property and Equipment
Since you are required to submit floorplans and also be accredited as part of your license application, you must obtain in advance a property and equipment for your Minnesota cannabis testing facility.
When doing so, make sure your proposed location complies with all of the regulations for a Minnesota cannabis testing facility. Not sure what is required? Schedule a call to discuss further.
Step 6: Develop Cannabis Testing Procedures
As mentioned earlier, your Minnesota cannabis testing laboratory must be accredited for you to apply for and receive a license. Therefore, you must develop procedures for testing cannabis on your equipment in your facility.
Step 7: Obtain Accreditation
Once you've developed your testing procedures at your Minnesota cannabis testing facility, the next step is to obtain accreditation by an accrediting organization approved by the office. The accreditation process can be difficult, and if not done right, can take months. Save yourself time by working with our cannabis testing consultants to help you navigate the accreditation process.
Step 8: Apply for Your Minnesota Cannabis Testing Facility License
Finally, you've taken all the necessary steps, and you're prepared to apply for a Minnesota cannabis testing facility license. As part of the application, you must submit the plans and documents outlined in the previous section above.
Keep in mind that your Minnesota cannabis testing facility license will be scored. You will only receive a license if you score high enough or score higher than the other applicants. Thus, you can expect the process to be competitive. Imagine doing all the steps above only to be rejected for a license because you plans were not compliant.
Let our Minnesota cannabis testing consultants manage your application for you. We know what it takes to win a license, and we'll do everything within our power to help you obtain your Minnesota cannabis testing facility license.
Below our cannabis testing consultants in Minnesota provide links to useful resources for business applicants:
Our Minnesota cannabis laboratory consultants will continue to add to this page as more information is released. We encourage you to regularly check back for the latest information and resources regarding Minnesota cannabis testing laboratory license applications.
Conclusion on Minnesota Cannabis Testing Facility Licenses
While the start of adult-use sales in Minnesota is some time away, businesses are starting to prepare now in order to improve their odds of securing a license. Get started on your Minnesota cannabis testing facility license application today by scheduling a free consultation with our cannabis testing laboratory consultants.
Supplemental Information Related to Cannabis Testing Licenses in Minnesota
If you have ownership in a cannabis testing facility in Minnesota, you may not own, operate, or work at any other cannabis business. While the state has not decided how many Minnesota cannabis laboratory licenses you can own, the yet to be published rules may place a limit on the number of licenses you can own.
Our Minnesota cannabis testing consulting firm will update this section upon further information is released.
Transferring Minnesota Cannabis Business Licenses
So are you allowed to buy or sell your Minnesota cannabis license? The short answer is yes. However, the new owners must be approved by the state. Also, if you are a social equity business, you are only able to sell your Minnesota cannabis license to another social equity applicant.
A local government (i.e. municipality) is not allowed to prohibit the establishment of cannabis businesses. However, retailers must obtain approval and register with the local government.
Social Equity Status for Minnesota Cannabis Business Applicants
Pay close attention here. Minnesota will offer "bonus" or "additional" points for applicants that qualify for social equity status. Twenty percent (20%) of the total score will be allocated for social equity status.
How do you qualify for social equity status in Minnesota? In short, you will qualify for social equity status if every director, manager, and general partner of your Minnesota cannabis testing business:
Was convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of cannabis or marijuana prior to May 1, 2023;
Had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent who was convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of cannabis or marijuana prior to May 1, 2023;
Was a dependent of an individual who was convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of cannabis or marijuana prior to May 1, 2023;
Is a service-disabled veteran, current or former member of the national guard, or any military veteran or current or former member of the national guard who lost honorable status due to an offense involving the possession or sale of marijuana;
Has been a resident for the last five years of one or more subareas, such as census tracts or neighborhoods, that experienced a disproportionately large amount of cannabis enforcement as determined by the study conducted by the office pursuant to section 342.04, paragraph (b), and reported in the preliminary report, final report, or both;
Is an emerging farmer as defined in section 17.055, subdivision 1; or
Has been a resident for the last five years of one or more census tracts where, as reported in the most recently completed decennial census published by the United States Bureau of the Census, either:
the poverty rate was 20 percent or more; or
the median family income did not exceed 80 percent of statewide median family income or, if in a metropolitan area, did not exceed the greater of 80 percent of the statewide median family income or 80 percent of the median family income for that metropolitan area.
Schedule a call with our Minnesota cannabis testing laboratory consultants to help determine if you qualify for social equity status.