Washington County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Washington County?

Cannabis cultivation was made legal in Washington County by virtue of the Minnesota Statutes §§152.22-152.37 in May 2014, but only for medical marijuana.

A business needs the commissioner of health's approval to register as a medical cannabis manufacturer under the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in order to cultivate medical cannabis legally. The MDH is also authorized to conduct unannounced inspections of any licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility.

The MDH is the governing body for all matters relating to medical cannabis, and it oversees the Office of Medical Cannabis, Medical Cannabis Program, and Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research.

Only one medical marijuana cultivation facility may be owned and operated by each licensed medical marijuana company. Cultivation facilities are required to be indoors and securely locked, as mandated by Minnesota Statutes §§152.29. They must be at least 1,000 feet away from the closest existing public or private school property lines.

All licensed medical cannabis growing establishments are required by Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1300 to post clearly legible signage at each entrance prohibiting entry for individuals under the age of 21. The fact that the entire property is being continuously filmed must likewise be disclosed on the signs.

All stages of cultivating and harvesting medical cannabis must be done in locations with restricted access under the strict supervision of a system of security cameras, according to Minnesota Administrative Regulation 4770.1700. Implementing and recording biosecurity procedures are necessary. All regions must be divided into functional groups, and employee movement between units must be limited.

All stages of cultivating and harvesting medical cannabis must be done in locations with restricted access under the strict supervision of a system of security cameras, according to Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1700. Implementing and recording biosecurity procedures are required. All spaces in each facility must be divided into functional units, and employee movement between units must be limited.

The licensed medical cannabis grower is required to have inventory controls in place and to keep daily records of the number of medical cannabis plants that are housed in the facility. Each batch of plants must be kept track of, beginning with the planting, and each batch must have its own batch number. Every medical cannabis product must later be tagged with the batch number of the plant used, hence, the plants will be identified up until they are packaged using this number. Any plant that is taken out of a batch must be recorded by the licensed grower. The facility must keep all records for a minimum of five years.

The licensed cultivator must include an open aisle within each cultivation and harvesting area to allow easy access to each plant for inventory and inspection. The cultivator is in charge of guarding against any plant rot, pests, fungi, mold, bacterial infections, mildew, inorganic pesticides, and other contaminants that could harm medical cannabis plants. Screens and other measures must be utilized to give protection.

The licensed grower is also in charge of putting in place processes and practices to reduce the likelihood that the medical cannabis being grown will be contaminated by chemicals and other impurities. Only pesticides approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and that have the lowest risk, if any, may be used by licensed cultivators.

The licensed grower must also make sure of the following:

  • The pesticide is permitted for use on plants intended for human consumption and on medical cannabis.

  • There is no specific prohibition on the pesticide product's label for use on plants intended for human consumption and on medical cannabis.

  • The use of the pesticide product in confined places is not expressly forbidden on the label.

  • The label of the pesticide product specifies how to apply it to plants meant for human consumption.

  • All directions and cautions on the pesticide product's label must be strictly followed.

Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1900 up to 4770.2400 require that batch samples must be tested by an outside laboratory with the commissioner of MDH's consent. Every time a batch sample examination reveals that an unauthorized chemical was used on the medical cannabis crop, the whole batch must be promptly removed to become medical cannabis waste and should be handled appropriately.

All inputs on the medical cannabis crop must be recorded by the licensed medical cannabis cultivator, and the record must be kept at the cultivation site for at least five years. The following details must be included in the log:

  • The name of the agricultural product applied, its chemical components, the manufacturer, and any other pertinent information

  • a duplicate of the agricultural product's label

  • The name of the agricultural product's supplier

  • The quantity and potency of the agricultural commodity applied

  • The batch number of the medical cannabis crop on which the agricultural product was applied

  • The square footage of the area on which the agricultural product was applied

  • The date when the agricultural product was applied

  • The name of the individual who did the application of the agricultural product to the medical cannabis plants

All stocks of agricultural product stocks earmarked to be applied to the medical cannabis plants must be retained in their original packaging, including all of their affixed labels, at the licensed cultivation facility. For agricultural products that have been prepared or weakened before application, the new receptacle must be properly labeled accordingly. The licensed cultivator is mandated to strictly follow all label directions, rules, and laws governing agricultural product storage and disposal.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Washington County?

Cannabis manufacturing was legalized in Washington County by the Minnesota Statutes §§152.22-152.37 in May 2014, but only for manufacturing medical marijuana products. According to Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.0400, medical cannabis manufactured in the state cannot be brought and used in other states.

Registering with the MDH as a medical cannabis manufacturer is necessary to manufacture medical cannabis products legally in addition to cultivating and harvesting it. A licensed medical cannabis manufacturer is allowed to possess and run just one facility for the manufacturing and packaging of medical marijuana products. This must be done in the same place where the medical cannabis crop is cultivated and gathered. Manufacturing, like all aspects of medicinal cannabis growing, must be done entirely indoors in a secure facility.

Minnesota Statutes §§152.29 requires licensed medical cannabis manufacturing facilities to be away from the closest property line of an existing public or private school by a minimum of 1,000 feet. Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1300 requires them to hang prominent signs at all entrances prohibiting entry for anyone under the age of 21. The signs should also state that the whole site is under constant video surveillance.

According to Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.1700, licensed medical cannabis manufacturers are not permitted to utilize cannabis extraction procedures that are hydrocarbon-based without the MDH commissioner's consent. No such techniques, including the use of alcohol, butane, ethanol, and hexane, have been approved by the commissioner.

Licensed medical cannabis manufacturers must get approval for their finished goods from the MDH commissioner before delivering these to clients. They must submit a specifications list for each completed product. The MDH commissioner will maintain a record of each licensed manufacturer's finished products, which will be updated as needed.

There must be uniform cannabinoid concentration guaranteed by each licensed medical cannabis manufacturer in every medical cannabis product it manufactures. For instance, only one gram of raw dried cannabis is the maximum content allowed for each medical cannabis pre-roll.

Every licensed medical cannabis producer must also create a quality assurance program that analyzes the composition of all products, checks for contaminants, and tests for shelf life. Each product batch must be kept by the maker for at least one year following its expiration date. This is important for any subsequent tests that may be required.

All medical cannabis products must be handled, processed, and stored in accordance with general cleanliness guidelines. It is the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer's job to maintain the proper temperatures and conditions in the facility to avoid any form of physical, chemical, or microbiological taint. In storage rooms, any sort of pest infestation, including rats, insects, birds, and others, must be averted.

Safe storage during the stages of production, transport, and testing is the responsibility of the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer to avoid thievery, loss, or displacement. Any returned medical cannabis that is expired, defective, deteriorated, incorrectly labeled, tainted, or whose packaging has been compromised must be stored in a separate, highly secure area. These goods should be kept in a locked cabinet or receptacle until they are incinerated.

A licensed manufacturer must abide by the United States Poison Prevention Packing Act in packaging medical cannabis, as required by Minnesota Statutes 152.29. The receptacle must be plain, tamper-proof, childproof, suitable for older patients, and designed to allow its contents to last as long as feasible. It must not resemble any other commercial item and must not be appealing to children.

The MDH must first approve brand names for medical cannabis products. They must have the correct labels containing the following information:

  • Name and address of the licensed medicinal cannabis manufacturer

  • Number of the medical cannabis batch used

  • Chemical composition of the medical cannabis product

  • Ingredient list of the medical cannabis product

  • Product's manufacturing date

  • Dosage recommendation for the medical cannabis product

  • Instructions for using the medical cannabis product

Licensed medical cannabis manufacturers are required to strictly comply with all of the specific phrasings for the warnings that the state of Minnesota mandates to be placed on medical cannabis labels. These cover their potential health risks, measures for the safety of children, not driving nor operating machinery after taking or using medical cannabis or its products, and not giving access to the products to people not authorized to use or carry them.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Washington County?

Cannabis retail was enacted as legal in Washington County through the Minnesota Statutes §§152.22-152.37 in 2014, but limited to the retail sale of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products. Only holders of a medical cannabis manufacturing license from the MDH can establish dispensaries, with a maximum of eight per licensee. These could include or exclude the facility used by the licensee for medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing.

A licensed medical cannabis store must be established 1,000 feet or more away from any existing school's property limits. All of the dispensary's entrances must have highly visible signage informing the public that the premises are under constant video surveillance and that entry is prohibited for anybody under the age of 21. Licensed dispensaries must follow the same requirements on security and sanitation as licensed growing and manufacturing facilities.

Licensed dispensaries can only sell medical cannabis to patients listed in the Medical Cannabis Registry and their respective spouses, parents, guardians, or registered caregivers. The dispensary is required to verify this by asking for a valid photo identification card which will be compared with the online registry.

The licensed medical cannabis manufacturer can sell the medical cannabis and medical cannabis products it produces as well as the medical cannabis and medical cannabis products of other licensed manufacturers.

Medical cannabis dispensaries must employ licensed pharmacists to oversee and authorize the sale of medical cannabis. When needed, the licensed pharmacist should discuss the patient's prescription with the patient. The licensed dispensary is permitted to provide only a 90-day supply of medical cannabis to each patient at a time, based on the particular patient's prescription.

Sublingual tablets, buccal tablets, lozenges, pills, liquids, vapor oils, powders, granules, sprinkles, mints, gum, and topicals are among the medical cannabis products permitted to be sold by retail by licensed dispensaries. Chews, gummies, and raw dry cannabis meant for smoking were approved as additional kinds of medical cannabis for sale in 2021. However, only patients aged 21 and up are eligible to buy medical cannabis for smoking. This may also be purchased by their registered caregiver, legal guardian, parent, or spouse on their behalf.

The licensed dispensary must provide the following information on the label of every medicinal cannabis product dispensed:

  • The patient's name, registry identification number, residence, and birth date

  • If applicable, the name and birth date of the patient's registered caregiver.

  • If applicable, the name of the patient's registered legal guardian.

  • If applicable, the name of the patient's registered parent.

The use or consumption of medical cannabis is prohibited within the premises of licensed dispensaries by Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.0400.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Washington County?

Cannabis delivery is illegal in Washington County as in other counties of Minnesota. Medical cannabis can only be released legally to qualified purchasers on the premises of a licensed dispensary as stipulated by Minnesota Administrative Rules 4770.0400.

If all of the following conditions are complied with, then qualified patients and their respective spouses, parents, legal guardians, or registered caregivers may do curbside pickups

of medical marijuana purchases at licensed dispensaries:

  • There must be a designated area as close as possible to the front entrance of the dispensary where the qualified patient or spouse, parent, legal guardian, or registered caregiver must be waiting in a vehicle.

  • The dispensary must confirm the identity of the qualified patient or spouse, parent, legal guardian, or registered caregiver by comparing a valid photographic ID with the online Medical Cannabis Registry.

  • If the patient needs to consult with the dispensary’s licensed pharmacist, this must be done before the transaction.

  • The dispensary staff must always be within the full view of security cameras from the time the medical cannabis is taken from storage to the moment this is brought to the waiting vehicle.

  • The highest levels of security must be met throughout the entire process.

  • As soon as the dispensary staff receives payment, this must at once be taken back inside the dispensary.

  • All data relating to the sale must be entered into the Medical Cannabis Registry database immediately.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington County

A physical medical marijuana card is not issued and is not necessary in Washington County and the rest of Minnesota. Instead, qualified patients and their spouses, parents, legal guardians, or caregivers must register in the Medical Cannabis Registry Program. They must then show any valid photographic identification card at the licensed medical cannabis dispensary, to be verified against the registry online.

Applicants must first undergo a medical examination by a state-licensed health practitioner to determine if they suffer from any of the qualifying health conditions for medical cannabis treatment. These are:

● Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

● Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder

● Alzheimer's disease

● Autism spectrum disorder (must meet DSM-5)


● Cancer

● Chronic pain

● Obstructive sleep apnea

● Glaucoma

● Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease

● Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those that are common in multiple sclerosis (MS)

● Intractable pain

● Tourette syndrome

● Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

● Sickle cell disease

● Seizures, including those that are common in epilepsy

● Terminal illnesses with less than a year of life expectancy

Starting August 1, 2023, the following medical conditions are also qualified for inclusion in the registry:

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

The health practitioner's certification should be forwarded to the Office of Medical Cannabis. The patient will subsequently receive an email containing a link to the application online. The health practitioner's certification is only valid for 90 days, and the application process will take about 30 days. Therefore, the patient must apply within 60 days of acquiring the health practitioner's certification. If assistance from a caregiver, legal guardian, parent, or spouse is needed by the patient, whether the patient is a minor or an adult, this must be included in the registration. The registration guide for patients online may be used for reference.

Each application and yearly renewal cost $200, which is acknowledged through email. The cost has been reduced to $50 for patients covered by the following:

  • MinnesotaCare

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Railroad disability

  • Veteran's disability payments

For approved applications, the Office of Medical Cannabis will send an email with instructions on how to complete the Patient Self-Evaluation. This is essential before visiting a medical cannabis dispensary.

Patients can get further information from the following sources:

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

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

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Washington County?

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, there is no general sales tax on medical cannabis. House Bill No. 600 aimed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2021, and if the Senate had approved it, the state would have received significant sales tax dollars that would have benefited all of its counties.

A study of House Bill No. 600 by the Minnesota Department of Revenue showed that it would have imposed a [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's general sales tax of 6.875% and other traditional company taxes. That would have equated to $14,500 in state tax receipts from recreational cannabis by the fiscal year 2023. Furthermore, by the fiscal year 2024, that figure would have risen to $66,000, and by the fiscal year 2025, it would have risen to $98,900.

Based on the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Dashboard Data, from only 837 active Medical Marijuana Registry patients in 2015, the number ballooned by June 30, 2022 to 37,112 registered patients. Residents of Washington County accounted for 1,886 of them.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Washington County

Medical cannabis was first legalized in Washington County in 2014 but medical cannabis sales only began in July 2015. In 2014, according to the report of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, there were 238 arrests for drug abuse violations, of which 133 were for marijuana possession and 55 were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. In 2021, arrests for drug abuse violations decreased to 216, of which 70 were for marijuana possession and 2 were for marijuana manufacturing or sales.

There were 176 DUI arrests in 2014. This increased to 286 arrests in 2021.

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Minnesota Cannabis County Info