In Minnesota, the use of marijuana is legal for medical purposes only. Minnesotans received authorization to use medical cannabis through legislative action in 2014 after Gov. Mark Dayton signed SF2470. Subsequently, the bill became codified and incorporated into Minnesota Statutes between Sections 152.22 and 152.37.
According to the law, a state-licensed healthcare professional must confirm the presence of any of the approved illnesses before anyone can use medical cannabis. Following the doctor's certification, patients can now enroll in the state's medicinal marijuana program and consume a limited amount of medical cannabis to treat their ailments.
Cannabis still appears on the state's Schedule I restricted substances list, despite the state having legalized it for medical purposes. As a result, Minnesotans cannot use marijuana for recreational purposes.
In Minnesota, only patients and caregivers participating in the state’s medical marijuana program can possess cannabis. As a result, owning any amount of marijuana for non-medical purposes is illegal. However, the severity of the sentence usually depends on the quantity of cannabis found on the offender.
Similarly, the federal government has not legalized marijuana for any purpose, medical or recreational. As a result, it is a felony if caught in possession of cannabis or engaging in its use while on federal government-owned properties.
Minnesota's laws do not recommend specific penalties for persons caught violating possession of controlled substances laws for the first time. Instead, the amount of cannabis discovered determines the suggested penalties for offenders.
However, the statute allows courts to impose lower penalties on individuals with no prior criminal record. Minnesota's senate issues a brochure informing Minnesotans about the different penalties for violating drug possession laws.
The Office of Medical Cannabis provides a map indicating the location of every approved cannabis distribution center in Minnesota.
Again, Minnesotans can buy medical marijuana legally at dispensaries licensed by the Office of Medical Cannabis. When the state legalized medical marijuana, approvals were also given to licensed marijuana businesses such as growers and retailers to begin operations.
By law, licensed cannabis manufacturers can have up to eight distribution facilities each. However, no marijuana producer can have more than two distribution facilities in any assigned geographical service area.
Only adult patients and caregivers in Minnesota's medical marijuana program who are 18 years or older can legally buy marijuana. Parents and designated caregivers of patients under 18 must help such patients purchase and administer the cannabis.
However, Section 152.29, Subdivision 3(e) of the Minnesota Statutes forbids licensed distributors from selling dry raw cannabis to adults under 21. Adults between the ages of 18 and 20 can only buy cannabis in the form of tablets, liquids, or vaporized cannabis.
Minnesota laws limit the number of cannabis patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program can carry at any time. Under Minnesota Statutes Section152.29 Subdivision 3(c-6), participants can purchase a 90-day supply of marijuana from licensed cannabis retailers.
Minnesotans not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program cannot possess cannabis legally for any reason. State regulations impose a light penalty for anybody caught with less than 42.5 grams of marijuana. Offenders avoid jail terms and only pay affordable fines. People in possession of more than 42.5 grams of cannabis face stiffer penalties.
Minnesota’s medical marijuana laws did not recommend applicable punishments for minors under 18 years caught in possession of weed. The state centralizes and regulates almost every stage, from production to distribution. As a result, the chances of weed finding its way to a minor are slim.
However, Minnesota did pass laws recommending punishments for offenders caught selling weed to minors. Section 152.023 Subdivision 1 finds anyone who sells more than 42.5 grams of cannabis to a minor guilty of a third-degree controlled substance crime. The maximum penalty applicable is a jail term of up to 20 years. There may be an additional punishment of a fine not exceeding $250,000.
It is illegal to grow marijuana plants at home in Minnesota. Participants in Minnesota’s medical marijuana program can only purchase cannabis from state-licensed manufacturers. Currently, the state has only two approved marijuana growers, each licensed to own up to eight distribution facilities.
It is illegal to travel with marijuana across state lines because it is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal laws. As a result, traveling across state lines with marijuana, even those obtained for medical purposes, is a felony.
However, per the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), travelers can fly with a limited amount of medical cannabis. According to the agency, travelers can board flights with medical marijuana and other cannabis-based products if the THC content is less than 0.3 percent. TSA officers will report offenders caught with more than the permitted quantity to local law enforcement.
Additionally, Minnesota laws prohibit flying into the state with marijuana and other controlled substances. This offense is a felony, with the offender facing up to 35 years and up to $1,250,000 in fines.
There is no law prohibiting being high in public in Minnesota. Minnesotans who are high can go about their business in public. The state does have laws protecting public peace and endangerment. Persons who threaten public safety under the influence of marijuana face severe penalties.
While there are no laws prohibiting being high in public, the state prohibits participants in its medicinal marijuana program from vaporizing or smoking cannabis in public.