Willmar/Medical Marijuana 28 Jul 14

 After a long push to legalize medical marijuana, Minnesota officials are starting the process to get it into patients’ hands.

The state has created an Office of Medical Cannabis and hired its director, but the program still needs to build technological systems to register patients, hire a doctor to manage research and, crucially, find two manufacturers to cultivate and distribute the drug.

The Willmar Planning Commission has approved a conditional use permit for retired veterinarian Dr. Marshall Brinton of Spicer to allow a medical marijuana production lab/dispensary at laboratory facilities he owns at 208 Lakeland Dr. S.E.

The West Central Tribune reports the commission approved the permit after holding a public hearing last week.

The commission’s action will be included the commission’s minutes, which will be part of the consent agenda at the next City Council meeting.

City Planner Megan DeSchepper said the conditional use permit is required because medical marijuana production is not listed as a land use in any section of the city zoning ordinance.

The commission approved the permit with the following three conditions:

That the property owner, operator and operation shall be in full compliance with state law, along with other requirements.

That any future occupant using the building for the proposed purpose shall return to the Planning Commission for sign approvals and to verify any future parking lot layout.

That the use shall meet all other applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations at the time.

The state will license two entities to produce the medical grade marijuana, with at least one dispensary open by July 2015 and they will also each have three additional dispensaries open around the state by July 2016.