Lawmaker behind medical marijuana law joins cannabis firm

Published 10:13 am Thursday, July 16, 2015

ST. PAUL — A state lawmaker who pushed Minnesota’s medical marijuana law and helped one company make connections in its bid for a state manufacturing contract will join that firm, he said this week.

Rep. Dan Schoen will take a leave from his job as a police officer in Cottage Grove and join LeafLine Labs as a security consultant, the Star Tribune reported. The Cottage Grove Democrat’s hire comes after he co-authored the 2014 law and helped connect LeafLine with city officials in his district.

With city officials’ approval, the company eventually built its production facility in Cottage Grove.

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It’s LeafLine’s second high-profile hire of a state official that has raised questions of impropriety. The company also recently poached Manny Munson-Regala, a state official instrumental in getting Minnesota’s medical marijuana program off the ground, to become its CEO.

Asked whether he would have been hired if not for his work on the law and helping the company in its bid, Schoen said: “I don’t know. It’s hard to say.”