Minnesota has both a medical cannabis program and passed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in May 2023, though possession and home cultivation were prohibited until August 1, 2023. As of August 1, 2023, individuals are allowed to possess up to 2 oz of marijuana and to cultivate 8 plants, 4 of which can be mature. Regulators are expected to create the infrastructure that will allow for licensing and commercial sales by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.
Until August 1, possession of marijuana in the amount of 42.5 g or less is a misdemeanor punishable by only a fine of no more than $200, provided one is not in their vehicle. Possession of more than 1.4 grams, but less than 42.5 g, within the interior of one’s vehicle (i.e. not the trunk) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and a 90-day period of incarceration. Possession of more than 42.5 g is a felony and violators may face the following maximum penalties:
• More than 42.5 g and less than 10 kg: 5 years of incarceration and a fine of $10,000.
• 10-50 kg: 20 years of incarceration and a fine of $250,000.
• 50-100 kg: 25 years of incarceration and a fine of $500,000.
• 100 kg or more: 30 years of incarceration and a fine of $1,000,000.
Furthermore, cultivation of marijuana remains illegal, even for patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal cannabis program. The punishment is based on the total weight of the plants.
For patients participating in the state’s medical program, they may purchase a 30-day supply of cannabis. However, Minnesota’s medical cannabis program limits patients to extracts only; the use of flower marijuana and edible gummies or chews is prohibited at present, but will be allowed starting March 1, 2022.
Those authorized to recommend cannabis include MDs, DOs, APRNs, and physician assistants. On top of having these credentials, they must be licensed to practice in the state of Minnesota, have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they are treating, and register at the following website: https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/cannabis/index.html. Additionally, they can only recommend cannabis to treat the following conditions:
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Chronic vocal or motor tic disorder (effective August 2021)
• Crohn’s disease
• Multiple sclerosis
• Nausea or severe vomiting
• Severe and persistent muscle spasms
• Severe or chronic pain
• Sickle cell disease (effective August 2021)
• Tourette syndrome
• Terminal illnesses with a probable life expectancy of less than one year, provided the treatment produces cachexia, chronic pain, and nausea.
Minnesota does not have a reciprocity program to accommodate patients who have enrolled in the program of another state.
For more information, see the website for the Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/cannabis/data/index.html.