Cultivating cannabis for recreational purposes in Hennepin County is illegal as adult-use cannabis remains illegal in Minnesota. However, pursuant to the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act, licensed medical marijuana growers can legally cultivate cannabis for medical purposes only.
Cannabis manufacturing in Hennepin County is only permitted to licensed medical cannabis manufacturers. Under the Minnesota Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act, medical cannabis manufacturers can only manufacture cannabis for medical cannabis usage.
In Hennepin County, a medical cannabis manufacturer may not be located within 1,000 feet of a private or public school, except when otherwise permitted by a local ordinance. Such cannabis establishments may not employ persons aged under 21 or who have been convicted of any disqualifying felony offense. In Minnesota, the consumption of cannabis is prohibited within a medical cannabis establishment.
The sale of adult-use cannabis is illegal in Hennepin County. However, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries may sell medical cannabis to qualified patients registered under the medical cannabis program. Medical marijuana dispensaries will verify the registrations and ages of customers before selling medical marijuana to them. Minnesota's medical marijuana act requires cannabis dispensaries in the state to maintain a minimum of four locations.
Cannabis delivery, whether recreational or medical, is illegal in Hennepin County. The sales and delivery of medical marijuana may only occur within the premises of medical marijuana dispensaries in Hennepin County.
The medical marijuana card issued in Hennepin County qualifies the person named on the card to use medical marijuana within the stipulated limits in Minnesota. To be eligible to get an MMJ card, the applicant must be aged 18 years or older, be a resident in Hennepin County or another county in Minnesota, and suffer from at least one of the following conditions:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Sickle cell disease
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
Terminal illness that may lead to death within 12 months
Persistent and severe muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
Autism spectrum disorder (must meet DSM-5)
The first step in getting a medical marijuana card in Hennepin County is to be certified as suffering from one of the medical conditions listed above. The certification for medical marijuana may be obtained only from a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse. Applicants are advised to download the Patient Email and Acknowledgement Form from the Minnesota Department of Health website before scheduling appointments with their healthcare practitioners. The completed acknowledgment form and a copy of the patient's medical records will be required at the appointment with their physician.
After the medical practitioner certifies that an applicant qualifies to use medical marijuana, the applicant will get a notification via email from the Office of Medical Cannabis containing a confirmation of the medical condition being certified by the healthcare practitioner and a unique online registration link for the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Patient Registry.
Before initiating the completing part of the registration online, the applicant must gather the following:
A Minnesota state-issued photo identification, driver's license, or their United States passport
A digital copy of their ID and medical assistance plan document, if applicable
A credit card or checking account routing information to pay the registration fee
A government medical assistance plan document. This document is only required for individuals applying for discounted registration fees. The application fee is $200, while persons who qualify for reduced fees will pay $50. An applicant who provides Proof of Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability must ensure that the proof is dated within the past 90 days. Also, the proof must explicitly state that the applicant is entitled to monthly disability benefits or that the applicant is receiving Supplemental Security Income
After completing the registration online, the approval process may take up to 30 days. Following approval, the applicant will receive a notification by email. For more instructions on completing an application for an MMJ card, review the medical cannabis program application guide. For more inquiries on MMJ cards, contact the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis by calling (651) 201-5598 or sending an email to email@example.com.
The medical cannabis industry in Minnesota contributes annually to the state's economy through sales made to medical cannabis patients. According to an independent study, Minnesota made over $40 million in medical marijuana sales in 2021. As the Minnesota Health Department recently issued a notice permitting the sales of smokable marijuana flower and infused marijuana edibles, the independent study projects medical cannabis sales in the state to reach $100 million in 2022 and $125 million in 2025. According to the study, if the recent recreational legalization bill is passed and signed into law, overall cannabis sales in Minnesota would top $1.5 billion by 2025. The recreational cannabis legalization bill also proposes the licensing of recreational establishments and the imposition of multiple tax types on cannabis products, which will create thousands of jobs and generate revenues for Minnesota counties and municipalities.
According to statistics obtained from the FBI UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) program, Hennepin County recorded lower rates of DUI, marijuana possession arrests, and marijuana sales arrests since the sales of medical marijuana began in the state in 2018. In 2018, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office recorded 134 DUI arrests, 60 marijuana possession arrests, and 16 marijuana sales arrests. In 2019, the Sheriff's Office recorded increased DUI arrest figures with 191 arrests recorded. However, marijuana possession and marijuana sales arrests declined with 56 and 12 arrests respectively.
In 2020, Hennepin County recorded the lowest rates for DUI, marijuana possession, and marijuana sales arrests since the sales of medical marijuana began. The county sheriff's office recorded 89 DUI arrests, 35 marijuana possession arrests, and 8 marijuana sales arrests in that year.