County District Court File Nos. 86-CR-17-500, 86-CR-17-499
Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Thomas N.
Kelly, Wright County Attorney, Shane E. Simonds, Assistant
County Attorney, Buffalo, Minnesota (for the state)
Engh, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for defendant Bultman)
Garry, Elizabeth Duel, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for defendant
Considered and decided by Reyes, Presiding Judge; Hooten,
Judge; and Cochran, Judge.
owned subsidiaries of the same parent corporation are
separate "persons" under Minn. Stat. § 152.33,
subd. 1 (2014).
its ruling on defendants' motions to dismiss, the
district court certified the question: are sister wholly
owned subsidiaries of the same parent company one
"person," such that a transfer of cannabis oil from
one subsidiary to the other cannot violate Minn. Stat. §
152.33, subd. 1 (2014). We answer this certified question in
purposes of this appeal, the parties stipulate to the
following facts alleged in the complaint. Minnesota Medical
Solutions LLC (MMS) is one of two companies in Minnesota that
is allowed to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana.
MMS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vireo Health LLC (VH). VH
also wholly owns another subsidiary, Vireo Health of New York
LLC (VHNY), which produces and distributes medical marijuana
in the state of New York.
time of the events alleged in the complaint, defendant Ronald
Dale Owens was the Chief Security Officer for MMS. Defendant
Laura Lynn Bultman, M.D., was the Chief Medical Officer of
December of 2015, defendants discovered that VHNY could not
produce a sufficient amount of medical marijuana to satisfy
the requirements set by the state of New York. To supply this
need in New York, defendants personally transferred 5.6
kilograms of concentrated cannabis oil, a derivative of
marijuana containing its active ingredient, from MMS to VHNY
in an armored truck. To effectuate this transfer, defendants
falsified inventory records for both MMS and VHNY.
state charged defendants with intentionally transferring
medical cannabis to a person other than allowed by law, in
violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.33, subd. 1. Defendants
filed individual motions to dismiss, each arguing as a matter
of law that they could not have violated the statute because
the transfer of cannabis oil to VHNY was not a transfer to a
different "person." The district ...