Minnesota Marijuana Trafficking Laws

Can You Mail Weed Legally in Minnesota?

No. Marijuana is prohibited under federal laws due to its high potential for abuse, and it is illegal for recreational use in Minnesota. As a result, Minnesota residents cannot mail cannabis products through the United States Postal Services or other delivery services. Only marijuana products manufactured by registered medical marijuana manufacturing facilities can be delivered in the state. 

According to Section 152.29 of the Minnesota Statutes, marijuana products must be delivered by medical manufacturing facility employees and not through third-party carriers. Although minors are allowed to use marijuana under Minnesota's medical cannabis program, medical marijuana patients must be up to 21 years of age before they can receive cannabis product deliveries. Designated caregivers must collect medical marijuana deliveries on behalf of patients under 21 years.

What Are the Penalties for Transporting Edibles Across State Lines in Minnesota?

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) states that crossing state lines with cannabis products is illegal, even for registered medical marijuana patients, because federal law prohibits cannabis use. The protection Minnesota Statutes offers registered medical marijuana patients does not extend beyond the state's borders. Therefore, like other cannabis products, edibles cannot be transported across state lines in Minnesota. Carrying edibles across state lines is an offense that can attract severe penalties at the federal level. Offenders could face one-year imprisonment and $1,000 minimum fines for first offenses. The penalty increases to two years imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines for a subsequent conviction.

Edibles are ingestible products infused with marijuana. As stipulated in Section 152.22 of the Minnesota Statutes, medical marijuana manufacturers in the state may dispense cannabis products in various forms, including liquid, oils, edibles, and pills. Cannabis edibles are produced in single-serve portions which do not contain over 10 milligrams of THC per serving and 100 milligrams of THC per package. 

How to Get a Drug Trafficking Charge Dismissed in Minnesota?

Marijuana trafficking charges in Minnesota carry severe penalties. The punishment defendants could face for trafficking other drugs are different and may be less severe. Defendants charged with marijuana trafficking in Minnesota may get the charges against them dismissed by establishing that the drug charges they are facing cannot be admissible in court. One way to render a charge inadmissible is by proving that a police officer conducted an unlawful search on a defendant's property which led to the seizure of cannabis products. If police officers did not read out a defendant's Miranda rights before arresting them for drug trafficking, the charge might be dismissed. Also, a defendant can look for ways to prove that they never intended to traffic the cannabis products found on them. 

Drug Trafficking Facts in Minnesota

Drug trafficking in Minnesota is the unlawful sale, cultivation, production, or distribution of substances subject to the state's drug prohibition laws. The provisions of Section 609.02 of the Minnesota Statutes define felonies as crimes for which sentences of one-year imprisonment or more may be imposed. On the other hand, misdemeanors in Minnesota are crimes for which maximum penalties of 90 days jail term, $1,000 fines, or both may be imposed. Under Minnesota law, there are petty misdemeanors, which have maximum fines of $300, and gross misdemeanors, which attract $3,000 maximum fines. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) monitors drug trafficking at the state level, while the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) enforces federal drug laws and monitors drug trafficking crimes federally.  

Drug trafficking charges in Minnesota are mostly considered based on the amount of controlled substance an offender possesses. As shown in arrest reports published by the FBI, Minnesota recorded 7,056 cannabis-related arrests in 2019 and 5,510 arrests in 2020. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under Section 152.02, Schedule 1 of the Minnesota Statutes. However, the possession of ''small amounts'' of cannabis products has been decriminalized in the state. As stipulated in Section 152.01, Subdivision 16 of the Minnesota Statutes, the state considers 42.5 grams or less of marijuana as a ''small amount'' of cannabis. According to Section 152.027 of the Minnesota Statutes, if a person possesses 42.5 grams or less of cannabis products illegally, they are guilty of a petty misdemeanor punishable by a $200 maximum fine. Persons carrying over 42.5 grams of marijuana products could face felony punishments under Minnesota law.    

How Many Grams of Weed Is Considered Trafficking in Minnesota?

Minnesota law does not specify how many grams of marijuana an offender will possess before being charged with drug trafficking. However, offenders could be charged for marijuana trafficking if they possess, manufacture, or distribute specific amounts of marijuana products. The provisions of Chapter 152 of the Minnesota Statutes outline the state's categories of drug trafficking crimes (including marijuana trafficking crimes) and their penalties. Generally, the degree of punishment an offender faces depends on the amount of cannabis product they traffic and the presence of specific aggravating factors. As stated in Section 152.01, Subdivision 24 of the Minnesota Statutes, the aggravating factors considered in marijuana trafficking charges are:

  • Previous convictions with violent crimes or drug trafficking offenses
  • Marijuana trafficking in up to three counties of the state
  • The transfer of marijuana products across state or international borders
  • Whether a defendant involved a minor in their trafficking operation
  • Whether a trafficking operation is carried out in a school, correctional facility, drug treatment facility, or park
  • Whether a defendant occupies a key position in a marijuana trafficking gang

What Are the Weed Trafficking Consequences in Minnesota?

Per Section 152.021 of the Minnesota Statutes, an offender commits a controlled substance crime in the first degree if they possess 50 kilograms or more of cannabis products or up to 500 cannabis plants. The penalty for such an offense is 30 years maximum imprisonment and up to $1,000,000 in fines. For a subsequent offense, an offender could face up to 40 years of incarceration (with a minimum jail term of 4 years) and $1,000,000 in fines. 

As stipulated in Section 152.022 of the Minnesota Statutes, a marijuana trafficker is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the second degree if they possess between 25 kilograms and 50 kilograms of cannabis products. Carrying between 100 and 500 marijuana plants in Minnesota is also a controlled substance crime in the second degree punishable by 25 years maximum imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, or both. A repeat offender risks facing up to 40 years imprisonment (of which three years jail term is mandatory) and a $500,000 maximum fine.

Furthermore, per Section 152.023 of the Minnesota Statutes, carrying 10 kilograms or more but less than 25 kilograms of cannabis within a 90-day period is a controlled substance crime in the third degree. If convicted, an offender could face 20 years maximum imprisonment, a $250,000 maximum fine, or both. Section 152.024 of the Minnesota Statutes stipulates that selling any amount of marijuana around a restricted area such as a park, school, public housing, or drug treatment facility is a controlled substance crime in the fourth degree. An offender could face a maximum jail term of 15 years, a $100,000 maximum fine, or both. However, the distribution of a small amount (less than 42.5 grams) of marijuana without remuneration does not fall under this category.         

How to Transport Weed Legally in Minnesota

The recreational use of marijuana is unlawful in Minnesota, but cannabis is acceptable for medical use in the state. According to Section 152.22 of the Minnesota Statutes, registered medical cannabis manufacturers can produce, transport, and dispense cannabis products within the state. In line with Section 152.29 of the Minnesota Statutes, medical marijuana manufacturers can have up to eight distribution facilities in different parts of the state. They can only operate one facility for conducting cannabis cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and packaging activities. 

Per Section 152.29, Subdivision 3(5) of the Minnesota Statutes, all marijuana products sold in the state must have child-resistant packaging, except for products packaged for elderly medical marijuana patients. Marijuana product packages must also be tamper-evident and adequately labeled to show all active ingredients and patients' identifying information, including their names, birth dates, designated caregivers (if applicable), and medical marijuana registry identification numbers. Also, marijuana product labels must state patients' dosage instructions.      

The provisions of Section 152.29, Subdivision 3a of the Minnesota Statutes stipulate that medical cannabis manufacturers must have a minimum of two employees in a vehicle when transporting cannabis products. However, only one employee can convey marijuana products to a testing facility. For an individual or business to transport weed legally in Minnesota, they must obtain a medical marijuana manufacturer license from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). However, the MDH states that it has registered two medical cannabis manufacturers, which is the maximum number of medical cannabis manufacturers allowable under state law. 

Minnesota Marijuana Trafficking Laws