Erin DuPree hired as first chief regulator for Minnesota’s cannabis industry

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Erin DuPree has been appointed as the inaugural director of Minnesota’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) as the state prepares to launch its regulated adult-use marijuana market.

The appointment by Gov. Tim Walz takes effect Oct. 2, according to an announcement from the governor’s office.

DuPree is currently “founder, vice president of sales and operations, and head of research and development at Loonacy Cannabis Co.” in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

“In this position, she has managed multiple aspects of the business and led continued research on hemp-derived and cannabis products while maintaining compliance with state laws and regulations,” the announcement noted.

She is also founder, vice president of operations and senior business consultant for Plymouth-based Cook and Quinwood Consulting.

“With direct experience in Minnesota’s hemp and cannabis industry and over 20 years of success in launching, managing, and growing businesses and organizations, Erin DuPree is an outstanding choice to lead the Office of Cannabis Management,” the governor said in a statement.

Added DuPree: “I look forward to working closely with all of the legislators, stakeholders, and advocates who worked so hard to pass this new law and am committed to the work of ensuring Minnesota’s new adult-use cannabis industry will grow and thrive for years to come.”

Walz signed an adult-use marijuana legalization bill into law in late May, making Minnesota the 23rd U.S. state to legalize cannabis for nonmedical use.

The OCM said rulemaking “for adult-use cannabis and lower-potency hemp products” will begin this fall, with the first retail sales expected in early 2025.

In the meantime, several Native American tribes have opened their own retail outlets in Minnesota.