Is marijuana legal in Minnesota?
Current legality status
Cannabis is legal for qualified patients with a licensed card.
Medical marijuana is legal in Minnesota, but recreational marijuana is not. The state has, however, partially decriminalized cannabis. Individuals in possession of 42.5 grams or less may be fined $200, provided that the cannabis is in plant form (not hashish).
Possession of more than 42.5 grams of cannabis and up to 10 kg is punishable as a felony, penalized by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possession of more than 10kg and up to 50 kg is also a felony, landing the user in prison for up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Larger quantities of cannabis result in longer prison sentences and larger fines.
The sale of cannabis is also dealt with firmly in Minnesota, with larger quantities receiving more significant penalties. The trafficking of more than 42.5 grams or less than 5kg is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Selling 5 to 25 kg is also a felony, and may land the individual in jail for up to 20 years, with a $250,000 fine. The sale of cannabis to a minor is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
A bill proposing recreational legalization was raised in Minnesota in 2019 but was killed by the Minnesota Senate. A 2020 bill, HF4632, outlined an extensive regulatory framework for adult-use marijuana. HF4632 failed to get a hearing before the legislative session ended in May, with Covid-19 identified as a complicating factor.
Minnesota medical marijuana laws
The Minnesota legislature passed SF 2470 in 2014, authorizing the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to oversee its medical marijuana program. SF 2470 enabled approved patients with qualifying medical conditions to access medical cannabis products in the form of liquids, pills, vaporized delivery, or other approved methods. Raw leaf, flowers, and edibles were excluded from the act. Doctors, physician assistants, and advanced practicing nurses can legally recommend medical cannabis in Minnesota once registered with the MDH.
Patient registration began in 2014, with medical cannabis available for purchase from July 2015. Medical cannabis is distributed to patients through state-run Cannabis Patient Centers. Patients are allowed to possess a maximum 90-day supply of the dosage determined appropriate for their individual needs. There are no specific cannabis possession limits. Instead, licensed pharmacists consult with patients and review their information to recommend a customized dosage. Patients are not permitted to cultivate cannabis at home.
Minnesota law enacts strong privacy protection for medical cannabis patients, although the state may use and report patient data anonymously for scientific research.
Minnesota qualifying conditions for medical marijuana
A qualifying condition is an illness that may benefit from medical marijuana medicine.
Minnesotan residents diagnosed with the following qualifying conditions may be eligible to access medical marijuana with physician approval:
- Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
- Tourette syndrome
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
- Intractable pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Alzheimer’s disease
How to get a medical marijuana card in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health does not issue medical marijuana cards. Instead, approved Minnesotan patients are registered online, enabling pharmacists at Cannabis Patient Centers to access their records and offer customized dosages.
The steps for applying for registration in Minnesota are as follows:
- Find a health practitioner approved to recommend medical cannabis. The health care practitioner must certify that you have a qualifying condition. You must bring and sign the Patient E-mail and Acknowledgement Form (PDF) to your appointment.
- Register and pay online. Once your practitioner has certified your condition, you will receive an email from the Office of Medical Cannabis. The email will contain a link to register online and provide a fact sheet to review before completing registration. Online registration requires a copy of government-issued ID and proof of financial hardship if applying for the discounted fee. The registration process costs $200, or $50 if reduced.
- Check your email. You will receive an email when your registration has been approved. The application review process can take up to 30 days. Before visiting a Cannabis Patient Center, you must complete a patient self-evaluation report on your account. This report must be completed each time before going to the Cannabis Patient Center.
- Visit a Cannabis Patient Center. When you receive your approval email, you can visit a center. The pharmacist will review your account and provide a specific dosage recommendation based on your needs.
Does Minnesota accept out of state medical cards?
Minnesota doesn’t offer reciprocity for out-of-state marijuana medical card holders.
When does my Minnesota medical marijuana card expire?
Patients enrolled in the Minnesota medical cannabis program must be medically reevaluated on an annual basis. Once your qualifying condition has been recertified by your physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant, you can submit a re-enrollment application and pay the annual fee. The renewal process must be completed before the patient’s annual expiration date.
Got your medical card? Find a dispensary in Minnesota
Medical cannabis is currently available at nine Cannabis Patient Centers throughout the state, with more in the pipeline.
Minnesota marijuana growing laws
Home cultivation is not permitted in Minnesota.
Other Minnesota laws regulating cannabis
Cannabis laws don’t start and end with legalization. Like many medical states, Minnesota has a number of laws on its books that govern issues such as public consumption and DUI.
Minnesota public consumption laws
The use or consumption of medical marijuana in public is illegal in Minnesota. According to the amendment, medical marijuana patients may be subject to civil, criminal, or other penalties for engaging in the use of cannabis in the following places:
- On a school bus
- On the grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school
- In any correctional facility
- On the grounds of any child care facility or home daycare
The law also makes specific reference to patients who vape. Vaping is prohibited on public transport, in a place of employment, in places a non-patient minor child might inhale the vapor, or in any public place, including any indoor or outdoor area used by or open to the general public.
Minnesota cannabis DUI laws
Medical marijuana patients cannot operate, navigate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle, including cars, aircrafts, trains, and motorboats. Patients cannot work on transportation property, equipment, or facilities while under the influence.
It is implied that any driver in Minnesota is subject to a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine, and is a crime to refuse to submit to a chemical test. Refusal to submit to a test may result in a mandatory minimum license suspension of 180 days. The penalties for DUI in Minnesota are as follows:
- 1st offense: Up to 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine, and up to 180 days of driver’s license suspension
- 2nd offense (within 10 years): A minimum of 30 days’ incarceration or eight hours of community service for each day less than 30, and up to one year of driver’s license suspension
- 3rd offense (within ten years): Mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail, mandatory participation in a program of intensive supervision, which may be served on home detention as ordered by the court, and up to three years’ driver’s license suspension
Minnesota cannabis testing regulations
Minnesotan medical cannabis manufacturers must contract with an independent laboratory for testing. These laboratories must be approved by the Commissioner. Amendments in 2015 and 2018 added more specific details to the law. Medical marijuana must be tested for cannabinoid profile, heavy metal contamination, pesticide residue and plant growth regulators, microbiological contaminants, mycotoxins, and residual solvents.
In response to concerns about the safety of vape products available to medical-cannabis patients, Minnesota’s sanctioned medical marijuana manufacturers say their products are safe and don’t use vitamin E acetate. But, they added, they would conduct additional testing to “further validate our formulas.” So far, they’re self-policing as the state is not mandating new testing standards.
Common questions about marijuana legalization in Minnesota
Can medical patients grow in Minnesota?
No, home cultivation is not allowed.
Is Minnesota a medical state?
Yes. Medical cannabis is legal, but recreational cannabis is not.
Can you get a medical card for anxiety in Minnesota?
No, anxiety is not included in the list of qualifying conditions.
Can you get a medical marijuana card with a felony?
The amendment doesn’t preclude felons from participating in the program. Caregivers cannot register, however, if they are guilty of a felony.
Can you smoke medical marijuana in Minnesota?
No, smoking is not allowed.
Can new conditions be added to the list of qualifying conditions?
Yes, via the petition process here.
Learn more about marijuana legalization in Minnesota
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