Former execs charged with smuggling medical marijuana oil out of state

Two former employees of Minnesota Medical Solutions are accused of diverting cannabis to their parent company in New York.

Two former executives with one of Minnesota's medical marijuana companies face felony charges of illegally sending cannabis oil out of state.

The charges were filed in Wright County District Court on Monday against the former chief medical officer and the former security director of Minnesota Medical Solutions (MMS). Convictions on each of the two counts against Laura Bultman and Ronald Owens could bring two years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Charges say they tried to help their parent company

The criminal complaints against Bultman and against Owens say they arranged to send 5.6 kilos of marijuana oil worth half a million dollars to MMS' parent company, Vireo Health, in New York.

Agents with Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated after a tip from another former MMS executive. They say company records show that in December of 2015 MMS sent jars of marijuana oil from their facility in Otsego to their patient center in Minneapolis.

But the complaint notes that the Minneapolis center only sells pills and liquid capsules and cannot process marijuana oil. Instead, investigators say, Bultman drove the oil in an armored vehicle to Vireo Health in New York. They say they do not believe Owens' statements that the oil was incinerated at a garbage burner in Alexandria.

Wright County's chief criminal prosecutor tells MPR News Vireo Health was in trouble because it couldn't meet its production deadlines in New York. "They were behind, and that's why they needed the oils (from) Minnesota," Brian Lutes tells the network.

Why would this be illegal?

The Minnesota law setting up the state's medical marijuana program says cannabis can only be provided to a caregiver, a patient, or the parent/guardian of a patient. And they have to be listed on the state's medical marijuana registry.

The Albany Times Union notes that since the U.S. government considers marijuana illegal – even for medical purposes – transporting it across state lines is a crime. Right now, though, there are only charges at the state level.

In an emailed statement, Vireo Health told GoMN they are cooperating with the agencies investigating the case.

“When we became aware of the possibility that one or more individuals may have acted in ways contrary to the laws of the state and to our own policies and procedures, we acted immediately to investigate the allegations, communicate with our regulators and take appropriate action," they said.

Lawyers for both Bultman and Owens told MPR their clients are innocent and will fight the charges.

The Times Union reports Vireo said last summer the claims came from a disgruntled employee who had been fired by the company and said he would harm the business.

Next Up

Flickr - state capitol minneosta - Ken Lund

Criminal charges possible for woman who drove on State Capitol grounds

She drove on the sidewalk and lawn, and at one point waved a large "Trump 2020" flag out the window.

training camp

10 things fans should know before going to Vikings training camp

Masks are not required, but strongly encouraged for the unvaccinated.


Cases of COVID-19 linked to Provincetown outbreak found in Minnesota

There have been more than 550 cases linked to the Massachusetts tourist destination since the 4th of July weekend.

Aaron Rodgers

Reports: Aaron Rodgers set for at least one more year with the Packers

Both sides showing signs of optimism just before training camp begins.

Twitter - KARE 11 jeopardy screengrab

KARE 11 crew teases upcoming 'Jeopardy!' cameo

Some familiar local faces will be providing contestants with "Minneapolis News" clues.

Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 1.41.24 PM

Second victim of deadly crash in Orono is identified

The crash also was fatal for the son of Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Witzmann and Coleman

Ex-Viking and ex-Gopher could be contestants for Edina's 'Bachelorette'

Michelle Young, a teacher from Edina, is the show's Season 18 star.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic will require COVID-19 vaccines for all its staff

Those who decline will be required to wear masks and socially distance while on campus.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson once again rejects calls to resign

He spoke briefly Monday morning at a press conference organized by his supporters.


An expansion of Minnesota's medical marijuana program is underway

For the second year, the list of medical conditions that qualify for marijuana use is growing.

Daycare owner charged with attempted murder of 16-month-old

Prosecutors say the woman told a parent she couldn't take it anymore.

3 charged in one of Minnesota's biggest gun shop burglaries

About 75 guns were stolen from the southern Minnesota gun shop in September.

Minnesota's medical marijuana can be rubbed into your skin

Leafline Labs is launching a topical medicated cream.

Wisc. rolls out medical marijuana bill...again

Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan will introduce the medical marijuana bill Wednesday. The proposed legislation is an exact replica of a bill first introduced to Wisconsin lawmakers in 2009.

Feds: 5 execs embezzled $20 million from Starkey Labs

Executives working for the Twin Cities hearing aid maker and its suppliers allegedly stole the money over a decade, partly by creating a fake consultant company.