Marijuana in Minnesota: What You Need to Know


Ryan Allway

March 25th, 2019

Policy


Cannabis legalization has been sweeping the United States, but the Midwest has been slow to change. Minnesota’s marijuana laws and medical marijuana program are somewhat progressive, but the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state won’t occur until 2020 at the earliest.

In this article, we will take a look at Minnesota’s marijuana laws, recreational legalization, medical marijuana program, and where patients can find dispensaries in the state

Table of Contents

  • Minnesota Marijuana Laws
  • Marijuana Recreational Legalization
  • Minnesota Medical Marijuana Program
  • Where to Find Dispensaries
  • Marijuana Advocacy Groups

Minnesota Marijuana Laws

Minnesota’s marijuana laws are restrictive compared to liberal states, like Colorado, but there have been some efforts to decriminalize the drug to some degree. For example, the state’s conditional release program lets first offenders opt for probation rather than a criminal trial.

The fines and prison time vary by amount:

  • Possession of 42.5 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200. These penalties go up to a 30 year prison sentence and $1 million fine for larger amounts.
  • Distribution of 42.5 grams or less without renumeration is punishable by a maximum fine of $200. These penalties go up to a 30 year prison sentence and $1 million fine for larger amounts and school zone distribution.
  • Cultivation of marijuana is punished based on the aggregate weight of the plants found.
  • Hash and concentrates are punished the same as the marijuana plant, although there’s a lesser penalty for possession or district button without remuneration of marijuana plant.
  • Possession of paraphernalia is a petty misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $300, while the sale of paraphernalia is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.

Minnesota Recreational Marijuana

The legalization of adult-use cannabis has swept across the United States. With the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Michigan, many Minnesota residents are hopeful that the state can join the growing ranks of state-legal programs, but the next chance won’t appear until 2020 at the earliest.

A Minnesota Senate committee defeated a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in March 2019, which effectively kills any chance of legalization for the year. The next major push to legalize recreational marijuana is likely to occur during the 2020 election year if new ballot measures qualify.

Minnesota Senate Republicans argue that the state is not ready for the legalization of recreational marijuana, while Democratic Senators argue that the state is better off controlling the already-widespread use of illegal marijuana by introducing a regulated market.

Minnesota Medical Marijuana

Minnesota’s medical marijuana program was enacted in 2015 to provide patients with a 30-day supply of non-smokeable cannabis products. Currently, there are eight state licensed dispensaries—the maximum permitted by law—and two product manufacturers responsible for supplying those dispensaries.

The state’s 13 qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer/cachexia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable pain
  • PTSD
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Sleep apnea
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

There are roughly 1,500 healthcare professionals that are authorized to certify patients under the program, but only about 30 doctors have actually certified large numbers of patients, suggesting that there is still some stigma associated with prescribing medical marijuana.

There are five steps to secure a medical marijuana card:

  1. Contact a licensed physician.
  2. Wait for an email response.
  3. Register online for a MMJ card.
  4. Visit a Cannabis Patient Center.
  5. Refill a Patient Self Evaluation Form for refills.

There are several other restrictions on medical marijuana use in the state. For example, smoking dried cannabis is prohibited, patients cannot grow their own marijuana, consumption in a motor vehicle is illegal, and medications cannot be taken to other states.

List of Marijuana Dispensaries

There are eight Minnesota marijuana dispensaries that are owned by two companies: Leafline Labs Dispensary and Minnesota Medical Solutions. Under law, these products sold at these dispensaries are restricted to cannabis pills or tinctures and all patients must have a valid medical marijuana card.

Here are the eight dispensaries in the state:

Leafline Labs Dispensary
302 E. Howard St.
Hibbing MN 55746

Leafline Labs Dispensary
141 33rd Ave S
St Cloud, MN 56301

Leafline Labs Dispensary
2795 Pilot Knob Rd.
Eagan, MN 55121

Leafline Labs Dispensary
550 Vandalia St.
St. Paul, MN 55114

Minnesota Medical Solutions
104 7th St. S
Moorhead, MN 56560

Minnesota Medical Solutions
3456 E. Circle Drive NE
Rochester, MN 55906

Minnesota Medical Solutions
5232 W. 84th St.
Bloomington, MN 55437

Minnesota Medical Solutions
207 S 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Marijuana Advocacy in Minnesota

Sensible Minnesota is a 501(c)3 non-profit that aims to make neighborhoods safer and more inclusive for those negatively impacted by cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs. The group works to educate the public and promote societal changes that emphasize compassion over isolation, restorative justice over incarceration, and public health over stigma.

Minnesota NORML is a membership-based non-profit that’s associated with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). The organization promotes a better understanding of cannabis laws, civil liberties, and lobbies the legislature for more sensible and reasonable laws regulating the use of cannabis by adults so they are no longer subject to penalty.

What’s Next for Minnesota?

Cannabis legalization has become increasingly widespread across the United States—and the Midwest is no exception. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan, many Minnesotans are hopeful that the state will pass its own recreational legalization laws in 2020.

Ryan Allway

About Ryan Allway

Mr. Allway has over a decade of experience in the financial markets as both a private investor and financial journalist. He has been actively involved in the cannabis industry since its inception, covering public and private companies.


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