Minnesota Marijuana Limitations

What Happens if I am Under 21 and Caught Carrying or Using Cannabis?

In Minnesota, adults and minors who are sick with specific medical conditions can use cannabis for treatment. While both adults and minors need to be certified by registered pharmacists and registered with the state's Medical Cannabis Program, the requirements for minors' possession and use of cannabis are stricter. Minors will be required to get registered caregivers to help them buy their medications. On the other hand, it is absolutely illegal for adults and minors to possess and use recreational cannabis. According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 1 in 10 people who use cannabis may become addicted. The addiction rate increases to 1 in 6 if the user begins consuming it before age 18. Due to this, SAMHSA discourages minors from consuming cannabis unless prescribed by a registered health practitioner.

Anyone under the age of 21 caught with cannabis will be charged with a cannabis possession or possession with intent to sell offense, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case and the result of the investigation. Possession with intent to distribute, deliver or sell cannabis is a fourth-degree drug offense punishable with a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $100,000. The Juvenile Court hears cases relating to cannabis crimes committed by minors, and the penalties of such crimes are at the judge's discretion. However, factors like the type of cannabis, whether it is a first-time offense, and the circumstances surrounding the crime, determine the penalty of the crime.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Minnesota?

Although the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Act has been amended to allow registered patients to smoke medical marijuana, the law will not become effective until March 1, 2022, or as determined by the commissioner of health. When the smoking of marijuana becomes legal, it will only be permitted in a private residence. However, the private residence must be well secured from minors and nonpatients. Private vehicle owners are not permitted to smoke weed in their private vehicles. Carrying medical weed within Minnesota is not a crime provided you fulfill the following conditions:

  • You must have been certified by a registered physician to have any qualifying medical conditions and be registered with the state's Medical Cannabis Program.

  • You must not consume it in any public setting, including public gatherings, public or private vehicles, or any type of transportation, schools, place of employment, commercial establishments, recreational centers, health care centers, etc.

  • The marijuana must exceed your 90-day recommended limit.

  • It must be out of reach and enclosed in a sealed container in the vehicle's trunk or the very back of the vehicle if there is no trunk.

  • You must not consume it while transporting it, whether in a public or private vehicle.

Anyone not registered with Minnesota's Medical Cannabis Program and is caught with cannabis will be prosecuted in accordance with the law. The person will face penalties for the possession or possession with intent to distribute marijuana possession in Minnesota, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Can I Leave Minnesota with Cannabis?

No, leaving Minnesota with cannabis is considered a crime even if you are authorized to use it to treat any health condition listed in the Medical Cannabis Act. It is a federal crime to transport cannabis across state lines. Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug according to the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs are considered harmful drugs with high abuse tendencies and cannot be used for treatment. Therefore, cannabis cultivation, production, possession, transportation, and consumption are not permitted. Individuals must also not be in possession of cannabis on federal properties in Minnesota or places that the federal government funds.

Instead of leaving Minnesota with cannabis, it is advisable to get information on the medical cannabis rules of the state you intend to visit. A person found transporting cannabis across state lines will be arrested by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and will face a federal criminal charge that may attract penalties like prison terms and fines. The severity of the penalties is usually determined by the amount of cannabis you are caught with, the events surrounding the arrest, and whether it is a first-time offense. The penalties for leaving Minnesota with cannabis are as follows:

  • If a person is caught transporting below 50 kilograms of marijuana for the first time, they may be sentenced to up to 5 years imprisonment or be made to pay a $250,000 fine.
  • Leaving Minnesota with between 50 kilograms and 99 kilograms of cannabis is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
  • If the quantity of cannabis transported is between 100 kilograms and 999 kilograms, it is a Class B felony, and the offender may get a prison sentence of between 5 and 40 years. This imprisonment may also be followed by four years of supervised release and up to $5,000,000 in fines.
  • Transporting more than 1,000 kilograms of cannabis is a Class A felony punishable by between 10 years in prison and a life imprisonment sentence. This may be followed by five years of supervised release and up to $10,000,000 in fines.

Note that these penalties may be more severe if the offender is a second-time offender or has been convicted of a similar offense in the past.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in Minnesota?

Yes. A cannabis DWI offense is usually recorded on a person's driving record in Minnesota when they are caught in possession of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety issues drivers' licenses in the state and can suspend the driver's license of a person caught in possession of cannabis while driving. The Department may also revoke the license of such a person if they have been previously convicted of a similar offense. Asides from the penalty of revoking or suspending an offender's driver's license, a cannabis-related DWI is also punishable by a fine or jail term. In Minnesota, a cannabis-related DWI is charged as a misdemeanor offense and will remain on an offender's driving record for life, as it can not be expunged.

Can I Get a DWI if I Drive While I am High?

The consumption of cannabis a few hours before driving is dangerous, as marijuana contains THC, a psychoactive chemical. When marijuana is consumed, THC is absorbed into the blood system and circulated to every tissue in the body, including the brain. Once it gets to the brain, it can alter neural chemistry, causing the user to get high. Minnesota laws strongly prohibit operating a vehicle under the influence of a psychoactive drug like marijuana. The law does not differentiate alcohol DWI charges from cannabis-related DWI charges. However, the difference between the two is that no specific THC level connotes impairment, while there is a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for alcohol. Therefore, any trace of THC found in a person's system after a chemical test will attract a DWI charge. Some ways Police Officers spot persons driving under the influence of marijuana are:

  • Bad driving
  • The Police Officer notices that the driver appears impaired through their bloodshot, watery eyes, the odor of marijuana, nervosity, etc.
  • "Field Sobriety Tests" or field exercises such as the nine-step-walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. However, individuals are not mandated to take field sobriety tests.
  • Chemical tests with the offender's blood or urine samples. Refusing to submit to a chemical test is considered a serious crime and will result in the offender's license being revoked. Seeking to conduct a chemical test with a person's blood or urine will require a search warrant. (180 days is a compulsory minimum if a defendant refuses a chemical test)

The penalties for marijuana DWI offenses are as follows:

  • First offense - Misdemeanor

  • A prison sentence of up to 90 days

  • A maximum fine of $1000

  • Up to 180 days of license suspension

  • Second offense

  • A minimum prison term of 30 days, out of which at least 48 hours must be served in a local correctional facility; or 8 hours of community work service every day

  • Up to 1 year of license suspension (180 days is a compulsory minimum if a defendant refuses a chemical test)

  • Third and subsequent offense

  • A minimum prison term of 90 days, out of which at least 30 days must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility; or compulsory participation in an intensive supervision probation program for recurrent DWI offenders

  • Consecutive service of at least 6 days in a local correctional facility

  • License suspension of up to 2 years

  • Fourth offense

  • A minimum prison term of 180 days, out of which at least 30 days must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility; or compulsory participation in an intensive supervision probation program for recurrent DWI offenders

  • Consecutive service of at least 6 days in a local correctional facility or a staggered sentencing program with at least 180 days of imprisonment

  • Consecutive service of at least 30 days in a local correctional facility or compulsory participation in an intensive supervision probation program for recurrent DWI offenders and consecutive service of at least 6 days in a local correctional facility

  • Indefinite license revocation

  • Fifth and Subsequent Offense

  • A minimum prison term of one year out of which at least 60 days must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility; or compulsory participation in an intensive supervision probation program for recurrent DWI offenders

  • Consecutive service of at least 6 days in a local correctional facility or a staggered sentencing program with at least one year of imprisonment

  • Consecutive service of at least 60 days in a local correctional facility or compulsory participation in an intensive supervision probation program for recurrent DWI offenders

  • Indefinite license revocation

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Minnesota?

Qualifying patients registered with the state's Medical Cannabis Program can buy cannabis. However, the purchase may only be made from Cannabis Patient Center Locations established under the authority of the MDH's Office of Medical Cannabis. Medical cannabis for minors can only be purchased through their registered caregivers. When visiting a Cannabis Patient Center (dispensary), qualifying patients or caregivers must go along with their valid Minnesota state-issued photo IDs, patient registry numbers, and payment.

Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Minnesota?

There are 13 Cannabis Patient Centers located all around Minnesota. Patients and caregivers registered with Minnesota's Medical Cannabis Program can purchase medical cannabis from any of these locations. A list of medical cannabis Cannabis Patient Center Locations is provided on the MDH's website. Registered patients and caregivers may only purchase cannabis from dispensaries registered with the MDH.

How Much is Medical Marijuana in Minnesota?

The cost of obtaining medical cannabis varies depending on the quantity and type. It is generally cheaper to purchase dried cannabis plants than it is to purchase cannabis pills. However, cannabis flower is not legal for use yet, until March 2022. The price of cannabis is about $350 for a 30-day supply. The registered fee for a qualifying patient is $200, while the reduced fee is $50 for patients who participate in medical assistance programs. These include patients who receive:

  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Social Security Disability, including those transitioned to retirement benefits
  • Railroad disability
  • MinnesotaCare
  • Medical assistance
  • IHS
  • VA dependency and indemnity compensation
  • Other Veteran's disability benefits that qualify for the reduced fee

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

There is no specific quantity of cannabis that a patient may have. However, Minnesota only states that a patient or caregiver may not possess beyond a 90-day supply of medical cannabis from a dispensary as recommended by a registered pharmacist.

Where Is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
Minnesota Marijuana Limitations