In Minnesota, adults are now able to use marijuana recreationally. As a result, marijuana is now regarded as a “lawful consumable product” in the state. The new Minnesota Cannabis law established licencing requirements and regulations for the new business, defined standards for workplaces and employee cannabis usage, and formed a new Office of Cannabis Management. It also created an expungement mechanism for marijuana-related convictions.
Employees and job seekers may be subject to cannabis use tests, according to new regulations, rules, and restrictions. The bill became operative on August 1, 2023.
What Does The New Minnesota Cannabis Law Allow
The new Minnesota law allows a person 21 years of age or older to:
- Use, transport, or possess cannabis products.
- In public: Carry two ounces or less of cannabis flower.
- Possess two pounds or less of flower from cannabis plants in their home.
- Transport or possess eight grams or less of cannabis concentrate intended for adult use.
- Own or transport edibles that have been infused with 800 mg or less of THC as a total.
- Offer cannabis flowers and products in quantities that are acceptable for individuals to own in public.
Home cultivation of cannabis is permitted since 1 August, 2023. A person may grow up to eight cannabis plants, of which up to four may be fully grown, blooming plants. Cannabis must be grown at home in a locked, enclosed area that is off-limits to the general public.
When Will Recreational Dispensaries Open?
It will take the state at least another year to establish a dispensary licensing system, possibly as early as 2025. Until then, there is a long wait.
On the other hand, tribal administrations can open dispensaries without waiting for the state’s licensing procedure. Due to their sovereignty, Minnesota’s 11 Native American tribal nations are not subject to state laws or regulations.
Where Can You Smoke Cannabis In Minnesota?
It is permissible to smoke cannabis on private property, including private houses. It will eventually be permitted at special events if the organizers acquire permission.
However, it is still against the law to smoke or vape cannabis wherever it is unlawful to smoke tobacco, which includes most places of commerce, apartment buildings, and college campuses. While state law doesn’t specifically prohibit smoking cannabis on public sidewalks, however, local legislation can.
It is still illegal to use cannabis in any form while operating a vehicle, in state jails, on federal property, on school buses, or in public schools. It cannot be smoked in areas where a minor might inhale it.
Who Can Operate A Cannabis Business And How Can I Apply?
In addition to additional licenses for medical cannabis, there are twelve distinct business licenses available for the adult-use cannabis industry.
You must be at least 21 years old, submit all required documentation, and pay license fees in order to be able to operate a cannabis business. The license applications are quite expensive, for instance, the cost of a cultivator license application is $10,000, $20,000 for the initial license, and $30,000 for renewal.
Expenses differ based on the type of cannabis business you choose. Smaller businesses would have to pay less for a cannabis “microbusiness” license.
Who can apply for a cannabis business license? You cannot be a state employee or a police officer.
Will Social Equity Applicants Be Prioritized?
Individuals who have been convicted of possessing cannabis or who live in high-poverty zones are classified as “social equity applicants,” and having these statuses can boost their scores. Grants are available for communities that were most affected by previous laws.
How Will Cannabis Products Be Taxed?
Cannabis products, including edible hemp or marijuana, will be subject to a 10% gross receipts tax. In addition, there are general municipal and state sales taxes. According to Tax Foundation research, the overall tax rate will still be lower than in other states where cannabis is legal.
The state will receive 80% of the revenue, and local governments will receive 20%.
Are There Rules About A Dispensary’s Location?
According to the bill, local governments can “adopt reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of the operation of a cannabis business. However, they are not allowed to completely prevent retail marijuana outlets from operating in their areas.
For example, they can restrict a business from operating within 500 feet of daycare centers and public parks, and within 1,000 feet of schools.
A recent amendment to the compromise deal authorizes a local government to restrict the number of retail dispensaries to one for every 12,500 citizens.
Can I Use Cannabis If I Possess A Licensed Gun?
The possession of firearms or ammunition by cannabis users is prohibited by federal law. Those who acquire firearms are required to disclose their marijuana usage on an ATF form. According to federal law, lying on the form is an offence.
Minnesota Cannabis Timeline
On May 30, 2023, Governor Walz signed HF 100, legalizing cannabis usage for recreational purposes in Minnesota. In May 2024, Minnesota will start accepting applications for adult use licenses. Adults 21 years of age and older will be permitted to use and possess up to two ounces of cannabis in public spaces as of August 1, 2023.
Minnesota’s cannabis law will set up a comprehensive licensing system for various cannabis-related businesses, including retailers, growers, and microbusinesses. For every cannabis business, there will be an application process, application fees, license fees, and renewal expenses.
Additionally, the law will prioritize applicants who meet specific social equity requirements, such as those from high-poverty areas or those who have a criminal record related to marijuana use or sales. The preference is meant to give priority to applicants who have already been seriously affected by anti-marijuana law enforcement.
According to the bill, marijuana for adult use has been legalized in Minnesota since August 1, 2023. In the end, everything hinges on how long it takes the state to create the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and how long it takes the OCM to establish a rule making process. The OCM is expected to begin issuing licenses and retailers will open in a period of 12 to 18 months.