State lawmaker gets job with medical cannabis firm

Marijuana plants are grown at LeafLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn. Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The lab is one of two Minnesota facilities producing medicinal marijuana. Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News

A DFL legislator who supported Minnesota’s medical marijuana law is taking a temporary job with one of the state-approved medical marijuana manufacturers.

Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, will work as a consultant for LeafLine Labs in Cottage Grove. Schoen said he is taking a leave of absence from his job as a Cottage Grove police officer.

Schoen said he’ll be working with LeafLine Labs on security-related matters.

“The whole issue around transportation, site security, safety for the personnel and visitors and patients. (I’m) working with them on those things,” Schoen said.

Schoen said as a legislator and police officer he previously answered some of the company’s questions about security issues.

Schoen said he has a month-to-month contract with LeafLine Labs. He said the job is not any sort of payback for his medical marijuana advocacy.

“There’s always people that would like that to be the case, so that there’s a sexy story to tell,” he said. “But the reality is legislators had no input into the selection of who was going to be selected to provide or be a manufacturer.”

Schoen said the six-month leave of absence will also give him time to learn more about several complex legislative issues. Schoen said he plans to return to his police job.

Last month, Manny Munson-Regala left his assistant commissioner job at the Minnesota Department of Health to become chief executive officer of LeafLine Labs. Munson-Regala was in charge of the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis.

UPDATE

Dr. Andrew Bachman, co-founder and chief medical officer of LeafLine Labs, issued this statement about the hiring of Schoen:

 

“With the expiration of our existing security director’s contract, we were glad that Dan Schoen was willing to serve as our interim security director. As we evaluate a more permanent solution for head of security later this year, Mr. Schoen has graciously accepted an offer to work with us on a temporary and contractual basis. Terms of our agreement with Mr. Schoen are not being disclosed.”