The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, or BLAEDC, held its annual meeting on May 9. The keynote speaker was the chief regulatory officer for the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management, who discussed the framework for the cannabis industry in Minnesota.

BLAEDC is all about helping businesses thrive in the Brainerd Lakes Area. At their annual meetings, BLAEDC likes to find a topic that is relevant to the region. This year’s keynote speaker was Max Zappia, the chief regulatory officer for the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management. At the meeting, Zappia discussed the latest from St. Paul regarding cannabis in Minnesota.

“It was around what this new law and what this new legislation is going to mean for our area and what it’s going to do for our economy,” said Tyler Glynn, BLAEDC Executive Director. “Obviously, what you saw today and what you heard today is it’s still in a very, you know, infancy status, if you will. And I think as the legislation continues to change with this, we’re going to see a lot more attention being focused on this. And it is going to be certainly whether you like it or don’t like it, it’s going to be an economic driver to our community.”

With the industry still in its early stages, education is still required. From BLAEDC’s point of view, learning the ins and outs is essential because of their mission to help businesses succeed in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

“For us to be able to help those businesses that want to get into this space and look at this as the next, as a next great business venture, us understanding what the the laws are, but also understanding what the regulations are,” explained Glynn. “Then it really steers back to we’re still helping somebody open and, you know, create a new business. And startup businesses are challenging.”

There is still plenty to learn about the cannabis industry. One thing in particular is how much is starting a business going to cost.

“The numbers that we’re throwing out and that the state is throwing out are vast. They’re big, you know, millions of dollars if you’re going to get into a growing operation as an example,” Glynn stated. “Some of the conversations that we’re having today, that the state is having today are, you know, if you are a grower, you can have X number of retail stores tied to that. Well, that just increases the cost of starting your own business.”

The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that the cannabis industry could generate over $100 million in annual tax revenue for the state by the 2027 fiscal year.

 The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, or BLAEDC, held its annual meeting on May 9. The keynote speaker was the chief regulatory officer for the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management, who discussed the framework for the cannabis industry in Minnesota. BLAEDC is all about helping businesses thrive in the…  Read More  

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