Marijuana is legal for adults and is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol; state also has a medical marijuana law
Last update: June 01, 2023
Minnesota legalizes cannabis for adults
On May 30, 2023, Minnesota became the 23rd legalization state when Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed HF 100 into law.
On May 18, the Minnesota House of Representatives had approved the final bill in a bipartisan 73-57 vote. The next day, the Senate followed suit in a 34-32 party-line vote, with every DFL member voting yes and every Republican who was present voting “no.”
Beginning on August 1, adults 21 and older will be allowed to: possess in public up to 2 ounces of cannabis, 8 grams of concentrate, and products with up to 800 milligrams of THC securely and discreetly cultivate up to eight plants, with up to four flowering and mature at home possess up to 2 pounds of cannabis at home
However, smoking and vaping are prohibited in multifamily housing, such as apartments.
The new law includes automatic expungement for low-level cannabis offenses. It creates a Cannabis Expungement Board to determine if certain cannabis felonies should be vacated, charges should be dismissed, and records should be expunged, or if the person should be resentenced to a lesser offense.
Legal sales are expected in early 2025. The new law will include a variety of license types, including retailers, cultivators, transporters, events, microbusinesses, mezzobusinesses, and delivery services. Regulators will decide how many licenses to issue and will reserve at least 20% of points for those with social equity status.
The law imposes a 10% retail tax, plus the standard 6.5% sales tax and local taxes. Medical cannabis is tax-exempt. HF 100 establishes grant funds including to help applicants with start-up and training and provides funding for substance abuse disorder treatment and prevention.
The new law also keeps hemp-derived THC products legal, while imposing taxes and regulations. It allows the two existing medical cannabis businesses to continue operating and to sell limited amounts of cannabis for adults’ use.
The state Office of Cannabis Management has already launched a website with more information about the law and implementation.
Congratulations to bill sponsors Sen. Lindsey Port (DFL) and Rep. Zach Stephenson (DFL), and to the DFL majority! And thank you to every advocate who raised their voice and worked for equitable legalization.
Minnesota’s Medical and Decriminalization Cannabis Laws
The Land of 10,000 Lakes has a decades-old “decriminalization” law in place — which made the penalty for possession of up to 42.5 grams of cannabis punishable by a fine of up to $300, not jail time. It also requires participation in a drug education program in most cases. While legalization will be legal for adults come August 1, this penalty will remains in place for those under the age of 21.
Minnesota also has a medical cannabis law which then-Governor Mark Dayton signed into law in 2014, after insisting on modifications that made it extremely restrictive. Thanks to the work of advocates and the openness of regulators, however, the program has improved substantially.
The state added intractable pain in 2015, followed by PTSD in 2016, obstructive sleep apnea and autism in 2017, Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, chronic pain in 2019, and sickle cell disease and chronic motor or vocal tic disorder in 2021.
In May 2021, the legislature and Gov. Tim Walz approved allowing raw/ flower cannabis — including smoking — for adults 21 and older and expanded caregiver provisions. Unfortunately, the legislature has not expanded the number of medical cannabis businesses. The entire state is served by only two manufacturers, each of which has four dispensary locations.
To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Minnesota, be sure to subscribe to MPP's alerts, if you haven't done so already.