Minnesota's Cannabis Boss Runs Into Cannabis Trouble

Erin Dupree was about to assume post before reports emerged of her company's illegal sales
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 25, 2023 3:05 PM CDT
Minnesota's Cannabis Boss Runs Into Cannabis Trouble
Marijuana plants grow at a lab in Cottage Grove, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

The recently appointed director of Minnesota's new marijuana regulatory agency has resigned amid reports that she sold illegal cannabis products in the state, per the AP. Erin Dupree ran a business that sold products exceeding state limits on THC potency, owed money to former associates, and accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in tax liens, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Loonacy Cannabis Co.—the business Dupree founded in Apple Valley, Minnesota, last year—posted on its now-deactivated TikTok account about its edible products containing 10 milligrams of THC per serving and 150 milligrams per package, although state law only allows hemp-derived edibles to contain up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving and 50 milligrams per package.

"I have never knowingly sold any noncompliant product, and when I became aware of them I removed the products from inventory," Dupree said in a statement. "However, it has become clear that I have become a distraction that would stand in the way of the important work that needs to be done." Her role as the state's first director of the Office of Cannabis Management would have begun on Oct. 2. "One of the responsibilities, and I take it and the buck stops with me, is the appointments of literally thousands of people," said Gov. Tim Walz, the Star Tribune reported. "In this case, the process did not work and we got this wrong."

Minnesota's legalization of recreational marijuana went into effect in August, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess and grow their own marijuana for recreational purposes, subject to limits as the state establishes a legal cannabis industry in the coming months and years. The midwestern state is the 23rd in the country to legalize recreational marijuana. Surrounding states—including Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota—have not yet legalized it. (More Minnesota stories.)

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