Minnesota MMJ companies lost millions in first year

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Minnesota’s two licensed medical marijuana producers both lost millions of dollars in their first full calendar year since sales began July 1 in 2015.

That’s according to financial documents that were seen by the Associated Press, which reported the findings on Friday. Minnesota Medical Solutions lost $500,000 in 2014 and then $3 million in 2015. LeafLine Labs lost $2.2 million in 2015.

The numbers came from financial audits the AP obtained via an open records request.

Minnesota Medical Solutions CEO Kyle Kingsley told the AP he “expected to incur losses at the start” of the industry, and cited “high start-up costs and low patient count for the losses.” MinnMed, as the company is called, even had to increase its prices last August after underestimating how small the market initially would be.

Minnesota has also had a very rough market in general. So far, only slightly more than 2,000 patients have registered for the MMJ program. Only two producers are allowed in the state, smokable cannabis is prohibited, and, until recently, the list of qualifying conditions for MMJ was relatively small. The pool of potential patients expanded immensely with the addition of intractable pain.