No need to fret, Minnesota marijuana lovers! Weed is now officially legal to use, possess, and grow in the North Star State.
However, hang on a moment before you rush out to buy some. Selling recreational marijuana is still illegal until licensed dispensaries open their doors, which is expected to happen in early 2025. In the meantime, Minnesotans will have to rely on traditional methods or cultivate their green stash.
Tribal reservations have the power to create their own cannabis rules. Today, the Red Lake Nation in northern Minnesota will begin selling cannabis at its medical marijuana dispensary, welcoming adults aged 21 and above. Meanwhile, the White Earth Nation recently established its own recreational marijuana program and will open its medical cannabis dispensary later this month.
Exciting times lie ahead for New York's budding cannabis industry. However, before the green rush can begin, there are a few important steps that need to be taken:
Creating Groundbreaking Cannabis Regulations: The Office of Cannabis Management is actively working on hiring a team of experts. They will be responsible for formulating comprehensive rules and guidelines around the licensing process. This will ensure a fair and transparent system for all stakeholders involved.
Municipalities Paving the Way for Cannabis Businesses: Local authorities need to determine suitable locations for dispensaries, greenhouses, and processors. From 2025 onwards, cities will no longer have the option to completely ban marijuana businesses. This will open doors to new opportunities and ensure fair market access for aspiring entrepreneurs.
A Traceability Milestone: A state-of-the-art seed-to-sale tracking system will soon be put into place. This cutting-edge technology will monitor every stage of the cannabis journey, from cultivation to the final sale. This ensures product safety, quality control, and compliance with regulations.
Industry experts in other states have warned that decriminalizing marijuana without creating a legal marketplace will only strengthen the black market. This could make it challenging to convince users to transition to the legal market when it becomes available in the next year or two.
What is legal
Starting from August 1st, adults aged 21 and older now have the legal right to possess and transport cannabis. You can have up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrates, and delicious edible cannabis products containing up to 800mg of THC.
But that's not all - you can also keep up to 2 pounds of marijuana in your own home. It's a game-changer for responsible cannabis enthusiasts!
Important note: While the laws have changed for adults, it's still illegal for those under 21 to possess marijuana. Stay informed and lawful, folks!
Grow your own marijuana in Minnesota! You can now cultivate up to eight plants per residence, with four of them in full bloom at any given time. Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor gardening, make sure to keep your leafy friends securely locked away from prying eyes.
Retailers can sell cannabis seeds with proper labeling by obtaining a license from the State Department of Agriculture.
Enjoy marijuana legally and responsibly in the comfort of your own home or on private property with permission. Embrace the freedom to indulge in nature's gift outdoors, as long as it's in a public area where it's not explicitly prohibited. Keep in mind, some cities may restrict cannabis smoking in places where tobacco smoke is already banned, such as parks and other public spaces.
Cannabis will also be legal to gift to anyone 21 and older but be aware that being sneaky and using cannabis as a free gift in addition to making a purchase is still considered illegal. similar scenarios have played out in other legal states without the proper regulations in place.
What not to do now that recreational cannabis is legal
Selling marijuana without a license. The consequences can range from a minor offense to a serious felony, depending on the quantity.
Crossing state borders with marijuana is a federal crime, regardless of tribal reservation boundaries.
Federal law also prevents marijuana users from owning firearms, even if it is legal in their state. This is because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug at the federal level, alongside heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. In accordance with the Gun Control Act of 1968, individuals who use a controlled substance are prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition, as stated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Federal authorities have taken a mostly hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement for those who abide by state laws, except for cracking down on large trafficking operations.
Although the state prohibits random and pre-employment marijuana testing for most jobs, truck drivers, police officers, firefighters, medical caregivers, educators, and other "safety-sensitive" positions are exempt from this rule. As a result, individuals in these professions in Minnesota may jeopardize their employment by using marijuana.
Now that recreational cannabis is legal it is important to know that it is illegal to consume cannabis in vehicles, on public or charter school property, state correctional facilities, anywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited, anywhere that THC smoke could be inhaled by minors and also Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Starting in March 2025, new laws will restrict cannabis smoking and vaping in multifamily housing units. This ban includes apartment balconies and patios, but there's an exception for registered medical cannabis patients. Until then, property managers have the power to decide on smoking regulations in their units.
Clearing the records of past marijuana convictions is now underway.
Find out what you need to know about the expungement process:
Minnesotans' misdemeanor marijuana convictions will be automatically expunged by the state. However, it may take up to a year for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to complete the clearance of all records.
Over 60,000 misdemeanor marijuana cases will be cleared automatically, removing all records from arrest to sentencing. This includes cases won by defendants or dismissed. In addition, Minnesota will establish a Cannabis Expungement Board to individually assess felony marijuana offenses for potential expungement or re-sentencing. However, this process is estimated to take several years.
With the dawn of legal recreational cannabis in Minnesota, a new chapter has begun that is filled with promise, opportunity, and responsibility. As the state takes thoughtful strides in paving the way for a transparent and accountable marijuana industry, Minnesotans are encouraged to embrace the newfound freedom with mindfulness and compliance with the laws.
The journey to legalizing cannabis has been a complex one, balancing the desires of consumers with public safety and legal considerations. As we inch towards a future where licensed dispensaries will be accessible, cannabis lovers should remain informed, vigilant, and prepared for what promises to be an exhilarating journey of growth, freedom, and economic opportunity in the North Star State.