Minnesota Regulators Estimate Amount of Cannabis Dispensaries Needed

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Minnesota regulators believe that the state will be needing a minimum of 381 cannabis dispensaries.

The state of Minnesota is working on getting their cannabis marketplace off the ground since legalizing cannabis in August 2023 (1,2). Regulators from the Office of Cannabis Management estimated that the state will need 381 cannabis dispensaries to be able to meet the requirements listed in state law (1). This was all mentioned in a recent report from the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management (1,3). MPR News mentioned that the authors of the report have stated that Minnesota Legislature may look to increase the amount of cannabis dispensaries to be able to meet the demand (1).

Regulators came to this number because the state’s law dictates that local governments will be required to have “a retail registration for every 12,500 people” (1). They took into account town and city populations through the state and arrived at the estimation of 381 cannabis dispensaries.


Previously, the Office of Cannabis Management, had not provided a number on how many cannabis dispensaries would be needed and how many would be able to be approved once the state grants them licenses to open (1). According to the department, once they begin issuing applications and establish rules for retail stores, they believe that cannabis dispensary businesses will be open sometime next year (1). MPR News and the Office of Cannabis Management report (1,3), both mentioned that without having a regulated market for cannabis, it creates challenges for the state.

"It is impossible at this time to understand the necessary supply of cannabis vs. hemp needed to accommodate total demand without further research," the report authors mentioned (1). "Until the adult-use market is launched and sales for both types of outlets can be thoroughly assessed, estimates of adequate product supply and outlets for the adult-use program will likely be inaccurate."

A group of 494 Minnesota residents participated in a poll that took place between June and September 2023 (1), which showed that 83% of participants mentioned using cannabis within a month. Another 40% of poll results disclosed that they had consumed cannabis daily or almost every day. According to the poll, participants revealed that they received their cannabis from family, friends, a dealer, a medical cannabis dispensary, or a cannabis retail location that offers low-dose edible products (1). Additional results from the poll highlighted that vape and edible products were some of the more popular ways to consume cannabis.


  1. Ferguson, D. Minnesota Cannabis Regulators Say State Will Likely Need 381 Dispensaries at a Minimum (accessed Jan 18, 2024).
  2. McEvoy, E. Recreational Cannabis is Now Legal in Minnesota (accessed Jan 18, 2024).
  3. Office of Cannabis Management. (accessed Jan 18, 2024).