Medical marijuana is currently legal in Minnesota, but marijuana for recreational use is not. Minnesota has typically been known for strict cannabis laws. While certain forms of cannabis are allowed in the state, cannabis-based products are still heavily regulated.
It was only recently that the state allowed the prescribed use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Medical marijuana can be legally used in all forms:
- Oral sprays
- Vaporization cartridges
- Raw form
Just this year a bill passed that gave medical marijuana patients 21 and older access to cannabis in dry form. Legislative opponents of recreational marijuana laws in the state argued the move was not a step towards broader legalization, rather it was primarily intended to give patients access to the less expensive raw form of the marijuana plant. The legislation also allows patients to obtain medical marijuana through curbside pickup.
How to Register for a Medical Marijuana License in Minnesota
Minnesota remains strict on marijuana use laws. In order to purchase and use cannabis for medicinal purposes, patients must go through a registration process.
They first must be diagnosed as suffering from one of the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Chronic pain
- HIV/ AIDS
- Crohn’s Disease
- Sleep apnea
- Severe muscle spasms
- A terminal illness
If you are considering seeking medical marijuana for any those conditions, you should talk to your doctor. If your current primary care doctor is not on the the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry you should find one who is and schedule an appointment. Make sure to print and fill out a Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program patient e-mail and acknowledgement form for your appointment.
Once you have been diagnosed by a registered practitioner, you will get an email with a registration link from the Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC). You’ll need a valid state ID, driver’s license or passport (and a way to take a picture of them to send to the OMC) to complete your registration, as well as a credit or debit card for fee payments.
The annual registration fee is $200 but patients who are beneficiaries of government assistance may qualify for a reduced $50 fee. Eligible beneficiaries include those who receive assistance from:
- Supplemental Security Income
- Social Security Disability
- Medical assistance
- Railroad disability
- VA dependency and indemnity compensation
- Veteran’s disability benefits
You can find a more detailed registration guide here or you can visit the Minnesota Department of Health‘s medical marijuana registration page.
Marijuana Dispensaries in Minnesota
Only approved businesses can legally sell marijuana in the state of Minnesota. Dispensaries are strictly regulated by the state. You can find a list of Cannabis Patient Center locations on the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Any business interested in the sale of cannabis must maintain at least four locations. Minnesota implemented this law to make it difficult for new cannabis companies to open, thus regulating the number of cannabis dispensaries in the state. The state must approve all new dispensary applications, and they are currently not accepting any new applicants.
Penalty for the Sale and Use of Recreational Marijuana
There are still penalties for the unregulated possession and sale of marijuana. The possession or sale of 42.5 grams or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor and will result in a fine of up to $200. Anything over 42.5 grams is considered a felony and could result in fines of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
A conditional charge is possible for first time offenders, and the court may require an educational course as part of punishment. Sentences for cultivation are the same as those for possession and sale and are based on the aggregate weight of the plants found.
Cannabis in the Future for Minnesota
Debate over the legalization of recreational marijuana will continue in the state of Minnesota. In May 2021 the Minnesota House passed HF 600 which would legalize recreational marijuana use for people over the age of 21. However, the Republican-controlled state senate showed no interest in moving the bill forward.
Do You Need a Lawyer in Minneapolis–St. Paul After a Marijuana Possession or Sale Arrest?
The Minnesota Lawyer Referral and Information Service (MNLRIS) is dedicated to connecting citizens to qualified attorneys who can represent their interests. Our referral counselors can quickly find a capable criminal defense lawyer near you and help you schedule a free case consultation.
Contact one of our referral counselors at 612-752-6699 to get started.