Minnesota government loans to marijuana company still under review

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A key Minnesota governmental agency has not approved more than $20 million in loans to marijuana company Hwy35.

The $22 million in loans to Missouri-based Hwy35 were approved Oct. 17 by the state’s Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation (IRRR).

Hwy35 will use the funding to transform a Grand Rapids wood plant into a cannabis cultivation and extraction facility, according to the three agencies planning to lend the money.

“The IRRR Board vote is an early step in the financing process – so far, no loan has been issued,” a spokesperson for the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) said in a statement to MinnPost, a Minneapolis-based online news outlet.

“Any release of money will not happen until the borrower gets a cannabis license from the state.

“As with many projects on the Iron Range, IRRR asks DEED to consider buying participations in loans for projects.”

Hwy35’s quest to obtain an adult-use license in Minnesota could take some time.

The bill legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Minnesota was signed into law in March, but the state still hasn’t yet set up its Office of Cannabis Management.