Minnesota is one of the more progressive states in the United States when it comes to marijuana policy, and continues to make positive adjustments to its cannabis laws.
Recreational Marijuana in Minnesota
The state of Minnesota still characterizes all recreational marijuana possession a misdemeanor or felony, but has put policies in place to decriminalize possession of small amounts. Those found in possession of up to 42.5 grams of marijuana may only be punished by a fine of up to $200. Additionally, there is a conditional release policy in place for first time offenders, who can have the offense removed from their record. Offenders may also be required to complete a drug education course.
Those caught in possession of more than 42.5 grams of marijuana face more serious penalties. These crimes are prosecuted as felonies, which can be punished by 5 years or more in jail, and fines of $10,000 or more.
Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
Medical marijuana was legalized in Minnesota with the passing of Senate File 2470 in May 2014. Under the law, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health is tasked with regulating the patient registry and the production and distribution of medical cannabis.
The law allows for the creation of two in-state manufacturers of medical cannabis, each of which opened four dispensaries. There are currently eight operational dispensaries in Minnesota. Home cultivation is not allowed.
A licensed healthcare practitioner must certify qualified patients before they can receive medical cannabis in the state.
Qualifying conditions currently include:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Intractable Pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – effective August 1, 2017
- Tourette Syndrome
- Seizures, including those characteristic of Epilepsy
- Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms, including those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis
- Any terminal illness with life expectancy under one year, where the illness or treatment leads to one of the following: Severe, intractable or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting.
As of December 8, 2016, there are 765 approved health care practitioners who can certify medical marijuana patients, 3740 patients actively enrolled in Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, and 416 approved patient caregivers in the registry.
CBD from Hemp Oil in Minnesota
Consumption of CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products. Minnesota has no further policies specifically regulating the consumption of CBD hemp oil, so it is legal to purchase and consume CBD hemp oil products.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Minnesota
Personal cultivation for recreational or medical use is illegal in Minnesota.
Minnesota did pass “The Industrial Hemp Development Act” in 2015, which categorizes hemp as an “agricultural crop” and empowers the Commission of Agriculture to set up a pilot program to grow industrial hemp at institutions of higher education. The hemp is designated to be grown for research or agricultural purposes only.
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