Cannabis cultivation only for medical use in St. Louis County is legal by virtue of the State of Minnesota’s Statutes §§152.22-152.37 of 2014. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is the medical cannabis regulating and licensing authority managing the Office of Medical Cannabis and the Medical Cannabis Program.
For companies to commercially grow medical cannabis in St. Louis County, they must obtain a medical cannabis manufacturer license from the MDH. The license also authorizes the manufacturing of medical cannabis products from the harvested crops, and the retail selling of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. Only one combined cultivation and manufacturing facility may be owned and run by a license holder.
According to Minnesota Statutes §§152.29, all cannabis cultivation must be done indoors under rigorous security conditions. The MDH may inspect the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer facility at any time without prior notice.
A licensed medical cannabis manufacturer facility is not authorized to be located 1,000 feet or less from the boundary of a private or public school. According to Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1300, medical cannabis manufacturer license holders must post a notice on each entry warning that anybody under the age of 21 is not permitted into the premises. The public must also be informed via the notice that surveillance cameras are always filming the entire property.
According to Minnesota Administrative Regulation 4770.1700, the medical cannabis manufacturer licensee's facility must be organized into sections based on their purposes. Access must be limited to every area of the facility where medical cannabis is grown, collected, manufactured, and stored. Even staff access to these places needs to be formally approved and closely supervised. Security cameras must continuously monitor these places and record the footage. The implementation of biosecurity precautions is required.
The medical cannabis manufacturer license holder is required to set up an inventory management system in the facility and keep daily documentation of the medical cannabis crops and products. The inventory logs must be kept for a minimum of five years.
During planting time, every plant has to be designated a specific batch number. Every plant must be accessible via an open aisle for daily inspection. The authorized grower is required to take precautions, such as employing screens, to protect the cannabis plants from rot, mildew, mold, fungus, pests, bacterial infections, chemical pesticides, and other pollutants.
The licensed cultivator must establish systems to prevent the contamination of medical cannabis by dangerous substances. They are allowed to use only the least harmful pesticides approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Every batch of medical cannabis crops must have all agricultural inputs recorded. The licensed manufacturer facility must keep the log for at least five years.
The licensed cultivator must also make sure that all of the following are observed:
Only pesticides approved for application on medical cannabis and on all crops that are to be consumed by humans must be used.
There must be nothing on the pesticide label that prohibits the product's application on medical cannabis and on all crops that are to be consumed by humans.
There must be nothing on the pesticide label that prohibits the product's usage in spaces that are enclosed.
There must be instructions on the product label on the application of the product on crops that are to be consumed by humans.
Instructions and warnings on the product label must be strictly followed.
Samples from each cannabis crop and product batch of any medical cannabis manufacturer licensee must be tested by an independent laboratory authorized by the MDH, in accordance with Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1900 through 4770.2400. The entire batch must be discarded if the test reveals that it was tainted by an unapproved chemical or other contaminants. Cannabis waste has to be managed in the required way to prevent unauthorized access and use.
The manufacturing of only medical cannabis products in St. Louis County is legal as mandated by Minnesota Statutes §§152.22-152.37. A business must also acquire from the MDH a medical cannabis manufacturer license to produce medical cannabis products commercially from the cannabis crops it grows. The manufacturing of medical cannabis products must likewise be done completely indoors in the same location as the cultivation facility, and with high security. All regulations mentioned previously regarding medical cannabis manufacturer licenses apply.
Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1700 prohibits cannabis extraction methods using hydrocarbons, butane, ethanol, hexane, and alcohol unless approved by the MDH. No approval has been given as of March 2023.
Licensed manufacturers must establish a quality assurance program to ensure that products are free from impurities, tested for shelf life, and have a uniform cannabis concentration. Medical cannabis pre-rolls, for instance, are required to contain a maximum of one gram of dried raw cannabis. Each batch must have samples retained for at least five years after the expiration date for any future testing required.
To avoid any kind of contamination, all medical cannabis products must be handled, processed, and stored in accordance with general hygiene requirements and the preservation of ideal conditions. Pest infestations of all types must be prevented in storage rooms.
Tight security is vital for preventing theft and loss when medical cannabis is being produced, transported, or tested. Medical cannabis that has been returned to the manufacturer due to defects, deterioration, expiration, contamination, inaccurate labeling, or packaging issues must be stored separately in a locked enclosure before being burned.
According to Minnesota Statutes 152.29, all medical cannabis packaging must adhere to the United States Poison Prevention Packing Act. Each container needs to be plain, child-safe, tamper-proof, and easy for elderly people to use. Children must not find it appealing. The packaging must sustain the product's shelf life. The product brand name must be approved by the MDH.
The following information must be on medical marijuana packaging labels:
The name and location of the licensed medical cannabis producer
The medical marijuana batch number
The medical marijuana batch number
The chemical makeup of the medical cannabis product
The ingredients of the medical cannabis product
The year when the medical cannabis product was made
The dose that is advised for the medical cannabis product
The directions for use of the medical cannabis product
The warnings and their specific wordings required by the State of Minnesota
Before licensed medical cannabis manufacturers may transport their medical cannabis products to licensed dispensaries, MDH permission is required. The MDH must receive a specification list for each finished product. The MDH will keep a log of all the goods produced by each licensed manufacturer and update it as necessary. No medical cannabis products from licensed manufacturers are allowed to cross state boundaries, according to Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.0400.
The retail selling of only medical cannabis and medical cannabis products in St. Louis County is legal as stipulated by Minnesota Statutes §§152.22-152.37. A company that intends to do so must also obtain the same MDH-approved medical cannabis manufacturer license needed for cultivation and manufacturing. The same regulations must be complied with.
In addition to the combined cultivation and manufacturing facility, the licensee is authorized to run a maximum of eight medical cannabis dispensaries. Each dispensary can only sell medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to patients and caregivers who are listed in the Medical Cannabis Registry.
Licensed dispensaries are allowed to sell medical cannabis in the form of oils, pills, lozenges, sublingual tablets, buccal tablets, powders, granules, topical preparations, liquids, mints, gum, and sprinkles. Added, as of 2021, were dried raw cannabis for smoking, chews, and gummies. However, medical cannabis to be smoked is only allowed for sale to patients aged 21 and above or their caregivers.
Every licensed medicinal cannabis dispensary must have a licensed pharmacist on staff. The supervision and approval of each sale, and any consultations needed by patients, are under the purview of the licensed pharmacist.
The licensed dispensary must ask the registered patient or caregiver for a valid government-issued picture ID to verify their identity and cross-reference it with the online registry and the patient's prescription. The licensed dispensary is permitted to sell up to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis per 90 days in accordance with each patient's prescription.
The following details must be put on the label of each medical cannabis product released by a licensed dispensary:
The patient's name, birth date, place of residence, and registry number
The caregiver's name and birth date
In accordance with Minnesota Administrative Regulation 4770.0400, no one is allowed to use or consume medicinal cannabis inside licensed dispensaries.
Medical cannabis delivery in St. Louis County is not legal even for registry-listed patients and caregivers in accordance with Minnesota Statutes §§152.22-152.37.
It is only legal for licensed dispensaries to sell medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to registered patients and caregivers inside their retail facilities as stated in Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.0400.
Registered patients and caregivers may purchase medical cannabis and medical cannabis products at the curb of the licensed dispensary only under the following conditions:
The vehicle must wait at a designated area as close as possible to the facility’s front entrance.
The registered patient or caregiver must show a valid government-issued photo ID as proof of identity and to be verified on the registry.
If a consultation with the licensed pharmacist is necessary, this must be done before the sale.
The movement of the dispensary employee must be monitored by surveillance cameras from the time the medical cannabis item is taken from storage to its handover to the patient or caregiver.
There must be tight security covering all curbside transactions.
Payment must be quickly brought back into the dispensary by the employee.
All transaction data must be entered into the registry.
Medical marijuana cards are not issued by the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry. Rather, St. Louis County patients and their caregivers must register online, and once this is approved, their valid government-issued photo ID will be verified by the dispensary on the registry whenever they make a medical cannabis purchase.
First, the patient must be diagnosed by a health practitioner licensed in the state to be suffering from any of the health problems that qualify for medical cannabis treatment, as follows:
Sickle cell disease
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Inflammatory bowel disease
Severe and persistent muscle spasms
Obstructive sleep apnea
DSM-5 Autism spectrum disorder
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
Terminal illness with less than a year of life expectancy
The following were added as of August 1, 2023:
Irritable bowel syndrome
The certification for the diagnosis and the patient’s name will be sent by the health practitioner to the Office of Medical Cannabis, which will then send the patient by email a link for the application online. The patient must use the link and complete the application within 60 days using the provided registration guide. Patients who need assistance and minors must also register a caregiver, who may also be a parent or legal guardian.
There is an application fee of $200 that can be reduced to $50 for those who receive benefits from:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The following may be contacted for more information:
Minnesota Department of Health
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
Office of Medical Cannabis
PO Box 64882
St Paul, MN 55164-0882
Medical marijuana is exempt from general sales tax, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. As a result, neither the state nor the county of St. Louis has benefited financially from the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
House Bill No. 600 of 2021 called for the legalization of cannabis for adult use. According to a study by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the proposed [10% gross receipts tax on recreational marijuana](https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/2021-05/hf0600%28sf0757%29_3 cannabis tax.pdf), in addition to the state sales tax of 6.875% and customary company taxes, would have generated state tax revenues of $14,500 in FY 2023, increasing in FY24 to $66,000, and in F 25 to $98,900.
Medical cannabis was legalized in St. Louis in 2014 but retail sales statewide only began in July 2015.
Data from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that in 2014, before the start of legal retail, there were 51 marijuana offense arrests, with 31 for possession and 20 for manufacturing or sales.
In 2015, after retail sales commenced, there were 23 marijuana offense arrests, with 19 for possession and four for manufacturing or sales.
In 2016, there were 17 marijuana offense arrests, with 14 for possession and three for manufacturing or sales.
In 2017, there were 32 marijuana offense arrests, all for possession.
In the latest available data in 2021, there were nine marijuana offense arrests, all for possession.
There were 142 DUI arrests in 2014, 147 in 2015, 109 in 2016, 125 in 2017, and 164 in 2021.