Yes, Rochester currently has one marijuana dispensary, a medical cannabis dispensary. While medical cannabis is legal in Minnesota, recreational marijuana is still illegal. Hence, no recreational weed dispensaries exist in Rochester. The marijuana dispensary in the city currently serves only patients with certain debilitating medical conditions who must be enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program.
Yes, one of Minnesota's medical marijuana dispensaries currently sells medical cannabis to qualified medical patients in Rochester. In 2014, Minnesota became the 22nd state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis after it enacted SF 2470, granting patients some access to medicinal marijuana. After the passage of the medical cannabis bill, the Minnesota Department of Health created the Office of Medical Cannabis. The Office of Medical Cannabis was tasked with implementing SF 2470. It also sought the establishment of medical cannabis manufacturers in 2014. In Minnesota, a medical cannabis manufacturer cultivates, manufactures, transports, supplies, and dispenses medical cannabis.
Initially, patients with doctors' prescriptions for medical cannabis were only able to buy cannabis oils, pills, or vaporized cannabis compounds from Minnesota-licensed dispensaries. The state's medical cannabis law prohibited patients from smoking marijuana leaves. However, in 2021, the Minnesota Legislature expanded the state's medical cannabis law to permit medical marijuana patients to smoke dried raw marijuana.
Although medical marijuana patients can buy medical cannabis from online weed dispensaries in Rochester, no cannabis dispensary in Minnesota may deliver such orders to the patients' local addresses. After ordering medical cannabis online in Rochester, medical patients can pick up their orders at the dispensary or have their caregivers pick them up for delivery. The current Minnesota medical cannabis law does not restrict medical patients in Rochester from buying a particular type of weed product from weed dispensaries online.
Visiting a medical marijuana dispensary in Rochester, MN, is a bit different from what operates in other states with medical marijuana programs. Typically, a medical patient in Rochester is required to log on to their medical cannabis registry account and complete a Patient Self-Evaluation Report using the Medical Cannabis Registry Portal. They must do this each time they want to purchase medical cannabis. After completing and submitting the evaluation form online, the patient can schedule an appointment to visit the cannabis dispensary in Rochester.
During their visit to the medical cannabis dispensary, a pharmacist at the dispensary will review the patient's registry account before recommending a cannabis medication. To avoid delay at the dispensary, a patient may consult with the pharmacist over the telephone or via other remote means, such as videoconference, before visiting the dispensary. The patient must provide the following when visiting the medical marijuana dispensary in Rochester:
The visit summary from the physician who issued the patient's certification for medical cannabis (for initial dispensary visit only)
A valid government-issued photo identification card
Payment for medical cannabis (payment method varies by location, but it is mostly cash)
If it is the first appointment or if the patient's medications change, details of previously prescribed medications
Currently, in Rochester, only a business approved by the Minnesota Department of Health can legally operate a cannabis dispensary, otherwise called a cannabis patient center. Cannabis dispensaries in Minnesota are highly regulated. The state law requires any business entity that intends to engage in cannabis sales to maintain a minimum of four locations, making entry into the state's marijuana industry difficult for new cannabis companies. Minnesota laws restrain weed dispensaries in Rochester from delivering cannabis to patients at home. As contained in Section 9. (152.29) of the Minnesota Session Laws - 2014, the following are some of the Rochester dispensary laws:
Weed dispensaries in Rochester must not permit the consumption of medical cannabis on their property
Rochester cannabis dispensaries must not employ persons under 21 or individuals who have been convicted of any disqualifying felony offenses
Marijuana dispensaries in Rochester must not operate within 1,000 feet of a private or public school existing before the business's registration with the Minnesota Department of Health
Weed dispensaries in Rochester must only employ individuals licensed as pharmacists as the only employees to dispense medical cannabis to patients
Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Minnesota, hence Rochester. The sale, possession, or cultivation of up to 42.5 grams of cannabis in Rochester is deemed a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $200 fine. Anyone caught cultivating, selling, or possessing over 42.5 grams of marijuana is considered to have committed a felony offense and risks up to 5 years jail sentence and up to a $10,000 fine.
The following are some of the medical cannabis laws in Rochester:
Only patients with qualifying medical conditions who are legal residents of Minnesota and are certified by state-licensed physicians can use medical cannabis in Rochester
Medical marijuana patients are prohibited from growing their own cannabis. They can only purchase medical cannabis at licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in Rochester
It is illegal to smoke medical cannabis in any public space in Rochester, including on public transportation
Only patients 21 years or older or their caregivers can purchase medical marijuana in raw cannabis form
A designated caregiver in Rochester may only assist up to six medical cannabis patients at a time
Minnesota does not issue medical marijuana cards to eligible patients under its medical marijuana program. Instead, medical cannabis patients only need to enroll in the state's medical cannabis program in order to access medical marijuana in Rochester dispensaries. A patient must suffer from one or more of the following eligible medical conditions in Rochester to be able to enroll in the state's Medical Cannabis Program:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Sickle cell disease
Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
Obstructive sleep apnea
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Inflammatory bowel disease
Autism spectrum disorder
Seizures, including those common with epilepsy
Terminal illness (those with a likely life expectancy of less than a year)
Persistent and severe muscle spasms, including those common with multiple sclerosis
The following are steps a qualified medical marijuana patient in Rochester can take to enroll in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program:
The patient visits their physician, who must be state-licensed
The patient’s physician enrolls in the state's Medical Cannabis Registry and certify them (the patient) as eligible for medical cannabis
Once the physician certifies that the patient suffers from qualifying medical conditions, the patient will receive an email containing a link to their enrollment application
Before clicking on the enrollment link, the patient should have the following handy:
A scanned valid government-issued photo ID
A check of $200 (or $50 for a discounted fee) or debit/credit card to pay for the online annual enrollment fee
After providing the required documents and paying the applicable fee, the patient should submit the form
The patient will get a notification from the Office of Medical Cannabis by email once the office approves their application (usually within 30 days). Since Minnesota does not issue medical cannabis cards, medical marijuana patients in Rochester who want evidence of participation in the state's medical cannabis program can print a verification document from their registry account. The Minnesota Department of Health provides a detailed guide (Step 3) on accessing the medical cannabis registry verification document.
Medical marijuana patients in Rochester can legally consume cannabis only within Minnesota borders. They are often advised to take their medication in their private residences. Generally, Minnesota prohibits smoking or vaping cannabis in public spaces, including on public transportation or where it is illegal to smoke tobacco. Also, because marijuana remains banned at the federal level, it is illegal for Rochester residents to use cannabis on federal properties within the city. Hence, individuals living in federally assisted housing owned by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development cannot use marijuana, including medical cannabis, on such property.
Cannabis patients must complete a Patient Self-Evaluation Report from their cannabis registry accounts each time they want to buy medical cannabis at weed dispensaries in Rochester. After completing the self-evaluation report, they can book an appointment with their choice dispensary in Rochester. A pharmacist at the dispensary will check the patient's registry account before recommending any cannabis medication.
A high-quality weed in Rochester costs about $325 per ounce, while consumers will get medium-quality cannabis at an average of $275 per ounce.
Popular weed strains in Rochester include blue dream, blue cheese, banana kush, girl scout, Durban poison, white widow, Zkittlez, northern lights, Afghan kush, and Gorilla glue.
No, smoking cannabis, including medical cannabis, in public is prohibited in Rochester.
Cannabis patients can possess an amount of medical cannabis prescribed for them under the Minnesota medical cannabis program. It is illegal to carry even the smallest quantity of marijuana for recreational purposes in Rochester.
No. It is illegal to ship cannabis in Rochester, especially considering that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
Yes, cannabis patients can order marijuana online from weed dispensaries in Rochester. However, they will have to visit the dispensary to pick up their orders as they are not allowed to deliver cannabis to local addresses. It is illegal to order cannabis for recreational purposes in Rochester.
Minnesota cannabis law is not explicit about 24-hour dispensary operations. Hence, dispensaries in Rochester may operate 24 hours a day if they want. However, per Section 4770.0700 of the Minnesota Administrative Rules, the Commissioner of the state's Department of Health may limit their hours of operation if they believe doing so protects public safety.
Out-of-state tourists cannot use weed dispensaries in Rochester, either for medical or recreational purposes. However, a person visiting Rochester from other parts of Minnesota can use a dispensary in the city, provided they are enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program.
Yes. Cannabis patients must provide valid government-issued photo identification while visiting marijuana dispensaries in Rochester.
Currently, there is only one cannabis dispensary in Rochester. Cannabis patients who live in Rochester but intend to get medical cannabis outside the city may search the internet using "best dispensary near me" for a list of the best dispensaries near Rochester.
While it is not mandatory, dispensaries in Rochester may scan cannabis patients' IDs to ascertain genuineness.
There is currently one licensed medical cannabis dispensary in Rochester
While payment options vary by dispensaries in Minnesota, cannabis dispensaries in Rochester accept only cash and debit card (with pin) payments.
There is currently only one cannabis dispensary in Rochester where cannabis patients can visit for their cannabis medications.
No. Cannabis dispensaries in Rochester do not accept health insurance for payment of medical cannabis products because medical insurance companies operate under federal laws, and marijuana is federally illegal.
Yes. Pharmacists reviewing a patient's registry account and recommending their cannabis medication provide dispensaries in Rochester a means of tracking how much weed they buy.
Yes. Patients 18 years or older enrolled in the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Program can enter cannabis dispensaries in Rochester.
Rochester cannabis regulator's contact is available on the Minnesota Department of Health website. Persons interested in contacting the state's Department of Health can do so at (844) 879-3381 (toll-free) or (651) 201-5598, Mondays through Fridays, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Alternatively, they may contact the department via email or send a mail to:
Office of Medical Cannabis
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
Rochester residents can report illegal cannabis activities to the Rochester Police Department at (507) 328-6800 or call the narcotics tip line at (507) 328-6760 (voicemail only). Alternatively, they may contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (844) 879-3381 (toll-free) or (651) 201-5598.