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Minnesota Governor Begins the Search for Director of the State’s New Cannabis Regulatory Body

With adult-use marijuana set to become legal on August 1, Governor Walz is already accepting applications for the crucial position.

In less than a month, Minnesota's new law establishing the state's legally regulated recreational cannabis market will go into effect, and Governor Tim Walz (D) is wasting no time in finding the most qualified person to lead that effort. According to multiple media outlets, a job posting went live on Friday for the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), a post the governor himself will appoint.


The new statute officially established the OCM on Saturday. However, the governor's office wanted to begin the search as soon as possible, with home cultivation and legal possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older set to begin August 1.


The job summary says, in part, "The inaugural Director of the Office of Cannabis Management will have responsibility for building a new state agency from the ground up and play a key leadership role in establishing and regulating an emerging new cannabis market in Minnesota."


"The inaugural Director of the Office of Cannabis Management will have responsibility for building a new state agency from the ground up and play a key leadership role in establishing and regulating an emerging new cannabis market in Minnesota."

- Job Posting Summary for Exec. Dir. of the Office of Cannabis Management


The duties of the executive director will include:

  • Directing daily operations

  • Overseeing the legislative and rulemaking needs of the OCM

  • Managing the office's personnel and budget

  • Constructing a regulatory framework that ensures a "safe, accessible and ethical cannabis industry"

  • Supervising licensing compliance

  • Providing steady leadership regarding governmental and tribal relations and overall communications

To be considered for the position, applicants must have at least eight years of experience in public administration, regulatory oversight, business or law enforcement. In addition, individuals seeking consideration for the job must have a minimum of two years of managerial experience overseeing high-level management staff.


Moreover, applicants will also need to have a background in "planning, development, and implementation of budgets, policies, procedures, and objectives necessary to achieve the goals of an organization or program along with the development of a strategic plan," according to the posting.


Finally, a prospective director must have regulatory agency experience, a strong knowledge of the marijuana regulatory landscape, excellent communication skills, "cultural competence," and the "ability to celebrate diversity and a strong commitment to a respectful and inclusive work environment."


The posting summarizes all requirements for the position by saying, "The Director will lead planning and policymaking; regulatory functions including compliance, enforcement, and licensure; social equity; tribal relations; legislative relations and operations management. This position will ensure office activities align with statutes, rules, and legislation governing the Agency."


"The Director will lead planning and policymaking; regulatory functions including compliance, enforcement, and licensure; social equity; tribal relations; legislative relations and operations management. This position will ensure office activities align with statutes, rules, and legislation governing the Agency."

- Job Posting Summary for Exec. Dir. of the Office of Cannabis Management


Applications for the executive director of the OCM will be accepted through July 31, 2023.

Finding the best candidate for the position will be critical to launching Minnesota's adult-use cannabis market. While marijuana will become legal to grow and possess on August 1, the process of licensing and opening the state's first recreational retailers will take a bit longer to implement, with most experts expecting retail sales to begin within the next 12 to 15 months.


However, Governor Walz is committed to getting the program up and running as fast and safely as possible. To that end, before the governor signed the bill into law, the state launched a website that serves as a hub for those seeking information about the new statute. Likewise, state officials have begun seeking vendors to help construct a licensing system for adult-use marijuana companies.


Once the position of executive director of the OCM is filled, the process of building the office staff will commence, and then the real work begins. As one of his key election promises, Governor Walz will undoubtedly work closely with the new director in getting Minnesota's legal cannabis market off the ground and running.


Whoever eventually holds the reins of the OCM will most certainly have Minnesota's chief executive's full support, confidence, and belief. However, the clock has already begun ticking for the retail sales launch date, and in the highly competitive world of recreational marijuana, time is money.






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