ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota health official instrumental in getting the state's medical marijuana program off the ground is leaving to become chief executive of a company producing the cannabis.

LeafLine Labs on Thursday named Manny Munson-Regala as chief executive officer of the company. He has been an assistant commissioner at the Department of Health, where he took a prominent role in putting the program in motion. Approved patients are just a few weeks away from being able to buy cannabis from LeafLine and another approved manufacturer.

A LeafLine press release says recruitment of Munson-Regala began last week. It calls him "the best and most-qualified candidate for the position."

He will leave his state post next week and join the company in early July.