The recently appointed director of Minnesota’s new marijuana regulatory agency, Erin Dupree, has resigned amid reports that she sold illegal cannabis products in the state.
Dupree ran a company that sold products that exceeded state limits on THC potency, owed money to former employees and collected tens of thousands of dollars in tax liens, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
Loonacy Cannabis Co. — the company Dupree founded last year in Apple Valley, Minnesota — posted on its now-deactivated TikTok account about its edibles containing 10 milligrams of THC per serving and 150 milligrams per package, even though state law only allows hemp. derivative edibles containing up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving and 50 milligrams per package, the Star Tribune reported.
“I have never knowingly sold non-compliant products, and when I became aware of this, I removed the products from inventory,” Dupree said in a statement Friday.
“However, it has become clear that I have become a distraction that would get in the way of the important work that needs to be done,” she added.
Her role as the first director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management would have started on October 2.
“One of the responsibilities, and I take it and the buck stops with me, is the appointments of literally thousands of people,” Gov. Tim Walz said Saturday, the Star Tribune reported. “In this case, the process didn’t work and we were wrong.”
Walz said in a statement Friday that the cannabis office’s interim director, Charlene Briner, would remain in an interim role, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Minnesota’s legalization of recreational marijuana went into effect in August, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess and grow their own marijuana for recreational purposes, with limits as the state establishes a legal cannabis industry in the coming months and years.
The Midwestern state is the 23rd in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana. Surrounding states — including Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota — have not yet legalized it.