Minnesota Becomes 23rd State to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

Retail sales aren't expected to begin until 2025 for most of the state.

Beginning today, new legislation allows Minnesotans 21 and older to possess and use certain amounts of cannabis and cannabis products. However, retail sales aren’t expected to begin until early 2025, after the new state Office of Cannabis Management develops the framework for the program.

“As someone who has been fighting for legalization in Minnesota for years, it’s a beautiful day to stop arresting people for consuming cannabis. I look forward to helping my clients get licensed in this new adult-use market, ” said Jason Tarasek of Vicente LLP.

Because tribal governments in the state can set their own rules, the Red Lake Nation has already announced plans to begin selling adult-use cannabis on Aug. 1. Tribal cannabis is also exempt from state tax.

In a statement about Minnesota, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “Nearly half of all Americans now reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal. To date, no state has moved to either curtail or repeal these legalization laws. That’s because these policies are working largely as voters and lawmakers intended, and they are clearly preferable to criminal marijuana prohibition.”

According to the Minnesota OCM, the law allows adults age 21 and older to possess or transport up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrate, and 800 milligrams of edible product (including low-potency hemp-derived product). An adult may also possess up to two pounds of cannabis flower in a private residence.

Minnesota will continue to have a medical cannabis program, which will move from the Minnesota Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management effective March 1, 2025.

Lower-potency hemp edibles will continue to be sold. Regulation of these products will move to the Minnesota Department of Health, and then transfer to the Office of Cannabis Management in 2025.

Cannabis consumers may smoke in public places where tobacco smoking is allowed unless specifically banned.

The legislation also calls for automatically expunging low-level cannabis convictions and for creating a Cannabis Expungement Board, which will review felonies for expungement or resentencing. Expungement seals a person’s conviction record, making the record not publicly accessible from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Sealing records is intended to remove barriers for people with cannabis-related offenses who are subject to a background check for a job or housing.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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