In December 2015, Daniel Pella returned to his workplace in Otsego, Minnesota, with discouraging news.
Pella, the chief scientific officer of Minnesota Medical Solutions, had just visited the cultivation facility of Minnesota Medical’s parent corporation, Vireo Health, in upstate New York. Vireo, headquartered in White Plains, was a month away from opening its first dispensary. Minnesota Medical Solutions had been producing cannabis oil, and selling it to patients, for more than five months.
Vireo Health’s New York dispensary needed cannabis oil. Its Minnesota subsidiary had plenty. What happened next will have to be proven in court.
The information Pella relayed to the MMS executive team was stark. Vireo was struggling to satisfy New York state requirements as a licensed medical cannabis provider. The company had to meet production deadlines to ensure an adequate supply of cannabis oil for capsules, tinctures and vaporizer cartridges, the only products allowed under the highly restrictive medical cannabis laws in New York. (Neither New York nor Minnesota allows smokeable cannabis flower.)
Three of the five cannabis strains at Vireo’s Fulton County, NY, cultivation and processing facility, Pella allegedly told his colleagues, were defective. The plants weren’t producing enough THC or CBD to meet production demand under state-required benchmarks. Failure to meet those benchmarks could affect the renewal of the company’s medical cannabis license.
The home office needed help. Vireo’s future in the New York market—potentially one of the nation’s largest—was in jeopardy.
And it just so happened that Vireo’s Midwestern subsidiary, Minnesota Medical Solutions, had plenty of cannabis oil.
How Cannabis Relieves Different Types of Pain
The Problem With State Borders
Interstate transport of cannabis is federally illegal. In late 2015, Minnesota and New York were separated by several states—Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania—where all forms of cannabis