Ramsey County Cannabis Overview

  1. Minnesota Cannabis
  2. Ramsey County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Ramsey County?

Yes. Ramsey County allows the cultivation of medical marijuana. Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2014, becoming the 22nd State in the US to grant access to marijuana only for medicinal purposes. Recreational marijuana remains illegal in Minnesota.

As defined in Minnesota Statutes, Section 152.22, medical marijuana manufacturers are registered by the Minnesota Commissioner of Health to cultivate medical marijuana in the State. Section 152.29, Subd. 1 states that the manufacturer may not cultivate in any location within 1,000 feet of a private or public school existing before the date of registration with the Commissioner. Moreover, Section 152.29, Subd. 2 says that all cultivation and harvesting of medical marijuana must take place indoors— in an enclosed and locked facility at the address provided to the Commissioner of Health during the registration process.

Furthermore, the Commissioner shall have at least one unannounced and random inspection every year of each manufacturer that includes inspection of:

  • business operations
  • physical locations of the manufacturing and distribution facilities
  • financial and inventory documentation, including laboratory test results
  • electronic and physical security alarm systems

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Ramsey County?

Yes. It is also important to note that the Minnesota law only allows two medical marijuana manufacturers or cultivators and does not allow the registration of additional manufacturers. Each medical marijuana manufacturer must have one facility and is permitted to have up to eight distribution sites throughout Minnesota.

Minnesota Statutes, Section 152.29 states that medical marijuana manufacturers shall contract the services of a laboratory approved or assigned by the Commissioner of Health for purposes of testing medical marijuana as to the content, consistency, and contamination. The manufacturer shall shoulder the laboratory testing costs.

Furthermore, a medical marijuana manufacturer shall implement facility access controls, a personnel identification system, security requirements, perimeter intrusion detection systems, and protection of each facility by a fully operational security alarm system. A manufacturer is strictly prohibited from employing any person below the age of 21 or any person who has been convicted of a felony offense and must undergo a background check with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension before working for the manufacturer.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Ramsey County?

Yes. As stated in Section 152.22 of the Minnesota Statutes, licensed medical marijuana manufacturers are appointed by the Commissioner of Health to dispense medical marijuana in the State.

A manufacturer may distribute medical marijuana only to patients listed on Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program, provided that the manufacturer received the patient’s registry verification from the Minnesota Department of Health. Section 152.29, Subd. 3 says that before dispensing medical marijuana, the manufacturer shall:

  • Receive the registry verification from the Commissioner
  • Verify that the person requesting the medical marijuana is the patient or the registered designated caregiver, parent, spouse, or legal guardian listed in the registry verification
  • Assign a tracking number to the medical marijuana dispensed
  • Ensure that the employee of the manufacturer (must be a licensed pharmacist pursuant to Chapter 151) has consulted with the patient to determine and verify the proper dosage
  • Ensure that the medical marijuana is properly packaged and must comply with the United States Poison Prevention Packing Act regarding properly labeled packaging with a list of active ingredients, child-resistant packaging, exemptions for packaging for elderly patients, and patient’s information, including the registry identification number
  • Ensure that the medical marijuana being dispensed contains a maximum of a 90-day supply of the proper dosage determined for that patient.

The manufacturers may dispense medical marijuana in the form of:

  • Dried raw cannabis
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Topical product
  • Water-soluble cannabinoid multi-particulate
  • Orally dissolvable product
  • Infused edible products in the form of chews and gummies

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Ramsey County?

Yes. Section 152.29, Subd. 3b states that a manufacturer may dispense medical marijuana to patients with medical marijuana cards or their designated caregivers, provided that they are at the distribution facility. However, the manufacturer who delivers the marijuana product must remain in a motor vehicle and ensure that each transaction is visually recorded by closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance camera at the distribution facility. Immediately following the distribution of medical marijuana, the staff of the distribution facility must enter the transaction receipt in the State medical marijuana registry database and must take the payment received from the patient into the distribution facility.

With that said, delivery of medical marijuana to residential addresses is not allowed.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Ramsey County

Prior to applying for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program in Minnesota, a patient must be diagnosed by a certifying healthcare practitioner with one or more qualifying health conditions designated by the Commissioner of Health, which includes:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than a year
  • Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Chronic pain
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Intractable pain
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Seizures
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Any other medical condition or treatment approved by the Commissioner but is subject to legislative oversight

Once the patient receives the certification of a qualifying health condition from the doctor, the patient will receive an email from the Office of Medical Cannabis with a confirmation of the health condition and a link to the enrollment application. The patient must submit the application to the enrollment link with the application fee of $200 on a yearly basis. However, if ​​the patient receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), railroad disability or veterans disability payments, or is enrolled in medical assistance (MinnesotaCare), then the fee is reduced to $50.

Once the patient’s application has been accepted into the registry program, the Minnesota Department of Health issues a registry verification, which consists of the patient’s information along with the information of the patient’s designated caregiver, if applicable. The registry verification is issued to the patient, the patient’s certifying doctor, and the manufacturer.

For more information, you may read this patient guide or contact:

Minnesota Department of Health

P.O. Box 64975

St. Paul, MN 55164-0975

651-201-5000

888-345-0823

Or

Office of Medical Cannabis

PO Box 64882

St Paul, MN 55164-0882

Email: health.cannabis@state.mn.us.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Ramsey County?

Medical marijuana is not subject to sales tax in Minnesota. While adult-use marijuana is illegal, lawmakers passed House Bill No. 600 in 2021, which pushes for the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Minnesota. Section 295.81 of the law proposes to impose a gross receipts tax equal to 10% from retail sales in Minnesota of adult-use cannabis. While House Bill No. 600 was passed as amended at the congressional level in 2021 with a vote of 72-61 (72 in favor; 61 not in favor), lawmakers in Minnesota still await the Senate’s final decision in making it a law.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Revenue published a tax analysis of House Bill No. 600, if ever it becomes a law. It states that revenue from the 10% gross receipts tax is allocated to a specific general fund which would be appropriated to prevention grant account and substance use disorder treatment. The remaining revenues from the adult-use marijuana gross receipts tax will be allocated to the tax relief account.

Moreover, the Institute on Taxation and Policy also published a study on cannabis taxation. It revealed that Minnesota would gain a potential sales excise tax of $168,018,054 if the State would tax cannabis the same as Washington. Washington currently imposes 6.5% state sales tax, 0.484% Business & Occupation gross receipts tax, 0.5-3.1% local sales tax, and 37% tax on retail sale price.

According to the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Dashboard Data, as of June 2022, there are a total of 37,112 patients active in the medical marijuana registry— 3,351 of which are Ramsey County residents. The data also shows a huge increase in patient numbers, from only 837 registered patients in 2015 to 37,112 as of June 2022.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Ramsey County

According to the FBI crime report, data generated from Ramsey County Sheriff's Office shows the DUI cases in Ramsey County from 2013 to 2014 and 2015 varied from 41 arrests to 40 and 79, respectively.

On the other hand, the number of drug offenses in Ramsey County increased from 2013 to 2014 and 2015— from 19 cases to 31 and 44, respectively.

Note that the legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota took place in 2014.

Ramsey County Cannabis