Minnesota's Hemp Acres is expanding to meet hemp product demand

hemp fields

Hemp Acres, located in Waconia, Minn., is expanding its hemp processing operation.


“We have recently taken the leap to secure 37,000 square feet of food-grade space, just a couple miles from my farm, and have been converting it to a food-grade facility over the last few months,” said Charles Levine, owner of Hemp Acres.

Hemp Acres came to fruition in 2016, becoming one of the first licensed growers and licensed processors of hemp in Minnesota. However, when hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act and became legal federally, Hemp Acres was able to launch into official production.



U of M study: High-CBD hemp plants largely marijuana at genetic level

technician holding a plant

A study by researchers at the University of Minnesota show the genetic makeup of high-CBD hemp plants is largely marijuana.

There are two types of cannabis plants. One that creates marijuana, which has psychoactive properties and the other creates hemp, which can be used to make industrial products. The difference between the two plants is the level of the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which creates the "high" sensation. Under federal regulations, CBD can only be 0.3% THC.

In the study, recently published in New Phytologist, researchers that breeding high-THC plants with hemp-type plants would create a new plant with high levels of CBD instead. 


What does a medical cannabis program look like in a conservative U.S. state?

two medical bottles spilled over with cannabis buds in one and white pills in another

Cannabis reform is undoubtedly spreading across the United States, as more states adopt medical and adult use laws. However, many states that have done so over the years have been labeled as conservative for a variety of reasons. And it isn’t just traditionally red states doing the restricting.

Until it embraced reform in recent years, New York was considered one of the most restrictive states for, among other things, its caps on qualifying conditions, licences and high pricing.


How to make Minnesota's medical cannabis program more affordable

cannabis being hung to dry

Over the past six years, as the founder and CEO of Vireo Health, one of Minnesota's licensed medical cannabis companies, I have had the privilege of helping thousands of patients across our state replace their often dangerous opioids with safe plant-based cannabis medicines.


Study: The More Dispensaries a County Has, the Fewer Opioid-Related Deaths

person holding a baggie of cannabis and a jar of cannabis

Cannabis advocates have long called for allowing people to treat pain with marijuana rather than opioids. A new study shows that this is exactly what happens when you give people the freedom to choose between the two.

The study, published in The British Medical Association Journal, found that in United States counties, medical or recreational cannabis is available for purchase, the number of opioid-related deaths declined.


Minnesota hemp industry still trying to catch fire

marijuana plants

Six growers helped launch Minnesota’s hemp industry in 2016, through a pilot program that prioritized study alongside cultivation.

Since then, that program is no longer experimental and that number has grown exponentially — to 343 licensed growers by 2019.

But hemp production has hit a plateau in Minnesota. Many farmers still have last year's crop in storage because markets were saturated and prices crashed. And after a bumpy few years of changing regulations and falling prices, the industry is now looking to branch out from its early products — primarily focused on CBD oil — to new markets, in fiber and grain.


Recreational marijuana bill is back at Minnesota Capitol

four politicians wearing masks

An influential group of Minnesota legislators is renewing a push to legalize recreational marijuana this year, as more neighboring states allow and reap the financial windfall from legalized cannabis sales.

"The ability for Minnesotans to drive across the border to get cannabis is going to increase significantly," House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, said at a news conference on Monday. "People are willing to drive to Wisconsin in order to buy fireworks. They're sure as heck going to drive to South Dakota to get cannabis."

Fifteen states, including South Dakota and Illinois, have voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and supporters in North Dakota are trying to get legalization on the 2022 ballot.


Minnesota Lawmakers Reintroduce Recreational Cannabis Legalization Bill

a small scale with cannabis buds being weighed

Minnesota is back with their legislative push to legalize recreational cannabis this year, hoping to follow in the footsteps of many of their neighbors.


Minnesota Moves Closer to Cannabis Legalization

rolling a cannabis joint

Minnesota is still pushing for legalization and planning to try again during this legislative session, although they are still facing some resistance from the state Senate


Push To Legalize Marijuana In Minnesota Gains Momentum, But Faces Opposition In Senate

legal gavel, medication bottle, and cannabis buds on a table

The push to fully legalize marijuana in Minnesota will be up for debate again this legislative session.

The issue has gained momentum in the last month, with the House of Representatives passing federal legislation. It still faces opposition in the Senate. Voters in South Dakota, Montana, New Jersey and Arizona made recreational Marijuana legal in November.

“Public support is growing for legalizing and expunging criminal records for cannabis,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said.

Winkler will again sponsor a bill for legalization, and explains there are two elements to it.


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