Pubdate: Wed, 01 Jun 2016
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Copyright: 2016 Star Tribune
Author: Karen Zamora, Star Tribune


Vireo, The Parent Company Of Minnesota Medical Solutions, Denied The
Accusations Saying The Missing Cannabis Oils Were Destroyed.

Accusations made by a former employee that a Minnesota-based medical
marijuana company illegally transported cannabis oil out of state
prompted an investigation and audit by local authorities.

The employee said that at least $500,000 worth of cannabis oil (or
about 370 grams) was sent from Minnesota Medical Solutions's Otsego
growing facility to their parent company's New York location in order
to meet that state's production deadline, according to a search
warrant filed on May 26 in Hennepin County.

"We are confident the claims relied upon by regulatory authorities to
begin the investigation will be found to be false," according to a
statement released by Vireo, the parent company.

According to the search warrant:

The former employee, who had been involved in cultivation and
production, showed an image to state Department of Health officials of
an outbound inventory transfer from the Otsego growing facility to the
Minneapolis dispensary. The cannabis oil at the dispensary "would be
useless" because that location only sells capsules and vaporizer cartridges.

The employee said that in December 2015 they were sent to a new New
York facility to oversee cultivation of medical marijuana plants. Some
of the plants there were not producing and could cause the company to
"fall short of the production deadline" set by the state.

Back in Minnesota, the employee met with the chief operating officer,
chief medical officer (CMO) and a horticulturist. The employee was
asked to point out jars of cannabis oil that would "rescue New York."

The employee said the CMO volunteered to drive the cannabis oils to
New York in the company's armored vehicle and "make the inventory disappear."

In May, Health officials audited and inspected Minnesota Medical
Solutions' Otsego facility and the Minneapolis dispensary. They found
a missing inventory page that contained transfer records out of Otsego
for Dec. 16.

Officers with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension searched the
dispensary and the company's armored vehicle allegedly used to
transport the oils to New York.

BCA officials saw that the CMO made several outbound transfers in
December - mostly after hours - totaling more than 5,580 grams of
cannabis oil out of Otsego with no destination listed. Health
officials could not locate or account for the missing oils and learned
that after hours transfers are "out of the ordinary."

Vireo staff in New York could not confirm the arrival of 5,580 grams
of cannabis oil, but said they have the armored vehicle.

The company responded to the search warrant by releasing a two-page
statement, in which they said the missing cannabis oils were destroyed
and that the New York facility was not short on inventory. The company
said the discrepancies stem from software designed for the accounting
of marijuana plant material, not oils. Those limitations result in a
lack of destinations for dozens of entries into the system, "not just
the small number of entries cherry picked by the disgruntled former

"Contrary to the claims of the disgruntled employee, MinnMed is
unaware of any of the jars of liquid waste going anywhere other than
the site of disposal, which occurred months later," according to the

State Department of Health spokesman Michael Schommer, said the
investigation does not relate to the safety of any medication.

BCA and health officials could not comment further, citing an ongoing
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