Minnesota Adult Use Cannabis Law: Where is it Now?

With a certain holiday going on this past weekend: 04/20, some readers, particularly ones in or near Minnesota, might be wondering where things stand with Minnesota’s recreational cannabis law (the law refers to it as “adult use cannabis”). This post, and the next several that follow it, will address where things currently stand, where things are supposed to be going, and how this relates to related products and laws, such as hemp-derived THC and medicinal marijuana.

Before getting too far into it, let’s start with some context. The law at issue here is HF 100 (and now contained within Chapter 342 of the Minnesota Statutes), which was signed by Governor Walz in May 2023. The text of the law is pretty lengthy, but to provide a very high-level overview, it legalized the possession and use of adult use cannabis, established rules for the regulation of the production, sale, and distribution of adult use cannabis, and formed a state agency tasked with regulation of adult use cannabis.

This brings us to August 1, 2023, which was the effective date of these changes…kind of.

I would describe the period of 08/01/23-01/01/25 as the “Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Phase.” It is true that adults in Minnesota ages 21 and older can generally possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower or eight grams of cannabis concentrate (think cannabis extracts or resins) in a public place. It is also true that that same group of adults can generally possess up to two pounds of cannabis flower in their private residence. What’s more, the use of cannabis is generally legal in public places and private residences, as long as state law does not otherwise prohibit smoking in a certain public place (like a school) or private residence (like an apartment complex).

The catch is the legal supply side: there aren’t currently dispensaries to legally purchase either the cannabis flower or cannabis concentrate for recreational use in Minnesota, aside from the handful of dispensaries on Native American tribal lands, where local tribal governments have elected to roll out recreational dispensaries ahead of the rest of the state. It is possible to receive cannabis as a gift in Minnesota (think “a gift between friends” situation, not a “buy this shirt and get free cannabis” situation). Minnesota residents can also grow their own cannabis at their private residence (thus the “DIY Phase”). This self-growing can be no more than 8 plants, only 4 of those plants may be mature, and the self-growing must take place in an enclosed, locked space out of public view.

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week and beyond as we dig into the changes ahead for adult use cannabis and their potential impacts.