June 12, 2015
Chris Dock | LPMN Chair
Another day, another “you have got to be kidding me” moment related to the rollout of medical marijuana in the State of Minnesota. In the spirit of full disclosure – I support full repeal of prohibition against marijuana, both medicinal and recreational; whether you grow it yourself or buy it at a dispensary, whether you use it to alleviate medical issues or just because you like the feeling, that’s none of my business and it’s none of the government’s business either. So, naturally I think the medical marijuana situation in Minnesota is a farce.
Before we had medical marijuana legislation, Governor Dayton told a parent to obtain marijuana on the street if that’s what they needed to do. Once legislation was passed, there were the frustrating shortcomings of the legislation itself – exclusions and restrictions ad nauseum. Then there were legal proceedings against Angela Brown for administering cannabis oil to her son to alleviate his medical issues, even though the legality of that substance was only months away.
Now, the latest twist is just another example of the incestuous relationship between government and business. Until this past Wednesday, Manny Munson-Regala was an Assistant Commissioner in the Minnesota Department of Health. He was involved in the site visits and presentations by the 12 companies that were competing to be chosen as one of the two (yes, only two) manufacturers that are allowed to produce medical cannabis in Minnesota. His department was responsible for creating the rules for those two (yes, still just two) manufacturers as well.
Why is Mr. Munson-Regala no longer in that role? Because on Tuesday, he was hired as the CEO of Leafline Labs, one of the two (seriously) manufacturers in the state of Minnesota. I don’t know how the competition will go between the two companies, but as of right now it is a fair assumption that Munson-Regala is the CEO of a company that has about a 50% share of the medical marijuana business in Minnesota.
LeafLine wanted to make it clear that Munson-Regala was not seeking the position and LeafLine didn’t start recruiting him until June 3. There is a possibility that this is all innocent coincidence and there was never a conversation or intimation at any point that a Department of Health executive with a great deal of influence over the medical marijuana business in the State of Minnesota would become the CEO of one of the two companies that he himself helped to select to have a 50% market share in this blooming business opportunity.
To quote Lloyd Christmas: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time! Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.
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