Minnesota this week awarded millions in public funding to a cannabis company establishing a new cultivation and manufacturing facility in the state.
HWY 35 received $22 million combined from local and state funds designed to drive economic growth in the Iron Range region of Minnesota.
The project, which is expected to create 400 new jobs, is turning a former lumber mill into a $67 million cannabis production facility.
But opponents have raised concerns over giving millions in funding, designed to help small, local cannabis businesses, to an out-of-state company.
Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, said it’s still early days for Minnesota’s legal recreational cannabis industry and too soon to be approving such funding.
HWY 35 must fully fund the project to qualify for the state money. And opponents expressed dismay over giving that much money to a company capable of raising millions in capital.
The funding for HWY 35 is being approved before Minnesota irons out the rules and licensing process for its legal cannabis market.