In Minnesota, some people have access to medical marijuana thanks to the state’s Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act. This act specifically outlines who is eligible to possess medical marijuana in the state and how much medical marijuana they can possess.
It’s important to note that even though Minnesota allows medical marijuana, possessing it without medical permission or in amounts outside of the thresholds set up by the law can still result in drug charges and convictions.
Here’s what you need to know to use medical marijuana legally in Minnesota and what you can face if you don’t follow the law.
Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
In 2014, Minnesota enacted the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act. This law created a registry program under the Minnesota Department of Health that helps patients who qualify for medical cannabis use to get the medications they need.
The law allows those with certain qualifying conditions, such as glaucoma, cancer, chronic pain, seizures, and more to access medical marijuana. In 2021, the state is adding chronic motor/chronic vocal tics and sickle cell disease to the list of qualifying conditions.
Eligibility for Medical Marijuana Use
To find out if you qualify, you must first meet with a physician to ask about medical marijuana as a treatment for your condition. They’ll assess whether you are qualified and certify you if you are. Once you are approved by your medical provider, they will submit a certification for you to the Minnesota Department of Public Health.
This allows you to join the cannabis registry in the state by paying an annual fee of $200, which then allows you to legally purchase medical marijuana at a registered medical cannabis facility with your state ID and registry number.
Which Products Are Legal in Minnesota?
The way the medical cannabis program is set up in the state allows medical marijuana to be produced by only two state manufacturers. These manufacturers have clearly labeled and packaged cannabis that includes identifying packaging requirements for law enforcement.
It is only legal to consume medical cannabis in pill form, or as oil, liquid, or topical products.
You cannot buy edibles, leaf, or flower legally.
You can legally possess a 30-day supply of medical cannabis in Minnesota. If you are not a registered medical cannabis patient and found in possession of cannabis, or a patient found in possession of more than the allowed amount, then you are subject to the marijuana possession laws of the state.
MN Marijuana Possession Crimes
Even though there are legal ways to obtain marijuana in the state, being caught with marijuana can still be a crime. Generally speaking, there are four levels of criminal charges associated with illegal marijuana possession.
- For anyone who is not allowed to have marijuana, being caught with 42.5 grams or less is punishable by fines up to $500 as a misdemeanor.
- If you are found with 42.5 grams to 10 kilos, then you will be charged with a felony. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
- Being caught with up to 50 kilos is also a felony that can land you in prison for up to 20 years and result in fines up to $250,000.
- The most serious possession felony is the possession of over 100 kilos, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines up to one million dollars.
Medical cannabis is a great thing for many people, but it’s important to keep in mind that the state has a ways to go with recreational marijuana use. If you’re caught with marijuana outside the laws of medical cannabis, you will likely face legal consequences.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.