Both of Minnesota's state-licensed medical marijuana companies are deep in the red, according to annual financial statements submitted to state regulators uncovered by the Associated Press.
Minnesota Medical Solutions and LeafLine Labs both recorded losses of over a million dollars in 2016. Both companies ended 2015 in the red as well, with MinnMed ending 2016 $1.3 million in the red after losing more than $3 million in 2015. LeafLine’s bottomline fared even worse, with losses of $2.2 million in 2015 and a whopping $4.7 million in 2016.
The collective $11 million on the wrong side of profit may seem like a lot, but for LeafLine CEO Andrew Bachman, the negative balance sheet is just growing pains for the state’s fledgling industry.
“This is the cost of doing medicinal cannabis correctly,” Bachman said. “The goal was never to post a profit early. It was to take care of people, always.”
LeafLine already has three dispensaries throughout the state, but Bachman says that large swaths of physicians and prospective patients still aren’t educated about the details of Minnesota’s MMJ program. For Bachman, education is the next step towards profitability.
For MinnMed, the financial filings are just another scarlet letter for the company that is already going through court proceedings after employees illegally shipped $500,000 worth of medicinal cannabis oil to a subsidiary in New York.
Still, despite the financial losses, both companies have been able to accrue enough investment to wade through the down years, and they are both planning to continue with their current business models and try their best to supply Minnesota’s medical marijuana patients with the products they need.