Recreational Cannabis Now Legal in Minnesota

What the new law means for Minnesotans

While Gov. Tim Walz joined 22 other states and signed the historic bill into law on May 30, the massive, 321-page-document takes effect today, Aug. 1—making recreational cannabis legal in Minnesota. But many Minnesotans may still have questions about the new rules. Here’s what you need to know:  

The law legalizes possession and use of recreational marijuana for Minnesotans 21 years and older.  

Though possession and home cultivation became legal July 1, today is the first day that Minnesotans cannot be criminalized. Marijuana misdemeanors can be expunged on a case-by-case basis via a Cannabis Expungement Board, which will review previous felony offenses. The state is hoping to make lawless cannabis use a thing of the past.  

Cannabis possession and usage is a free-for-all, however. A new state agency, the Office of Cannabis Management (OMC) will oversee all things cannabis, including approving licensing cannabis and hemp businesses, supervising the recreational market, and enforcing new rules surrounding popular THC-based drinks and edibles, while the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will continue managing the preexisting medical marijuana market until 2025. Even with oversight from OMC and MDH, the law has additional checks and balances.  

The new law puts limits on the amount of cannabis someone can have at a given time. 

Adults aged 21 years and older can transport and have “2 ounces of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrate, and 800 milligrams of edible product.” In a private residence, Minnesotans can possess up to two pounds. Statewide, smoking cannabis or being under the influence is illegal while driving, on federal property, or in almost all indoor spaces, including schools, offices, and, until 2025, multifamily housing buildings.  

Law enforcement officers are prepared to implement the change. The bill gives $15 million to the Office of Traffic Safety, which will train drug recognition evaluators to spot signs of cannabis. Like Minnesota’s open container law, no cannabis should be open or visible in a legal vehicle. Instead, store and transport the unopened, allowed amount of cannabis in the trunk.  

When it comes to public cannabis possession and usage outdoors, that legality is still up to individual cities.  

Local governments can adopt ordinances making public usage a misdemeanor. Brooklyn Center, East Grand Forks, Mankato, and Ramsey are just some of the cities that will enforce other restrictions, as more cities enter further restriction discussions. This comes on the heels of the bill’s next phase: business distribution. While THC and hemp-based products can continue sales as usual in the state, there’s a catch.  

Retail sales of cannabis may not begin until 2025.  

The law created 15 types of licenses, which include cannabis cultivator, cannabis manufacturer, cannabis retailer, cannabis microbusiness, cannabis mezzo business, cannabis wholesaler, cannabis delivery service, and cannabis event organizer. Until 2025, however, Minnesotans seeking recreational cannabis will need to legally rely on themselves.

That’s why many Minnesotans are turning toward home cultivation.  

Minnesotans 21 years or older can grow up to eight cannabis plants per residence indoors or out within an enclosed, lockable space away from the public’s view. Hemp and cannabis seeds with less than 0.3% THC by weight are legal and can be bought at some retail stores with permits. 

One of those stores is Grounded Gardens. Run by Hemp Farmer Bridgette Pinder, the store is offering the community classes on how to grow the plant. Each student will receive four plants, soil, and gardening supplies. Pinder hopes this will set cannabis users up for success.  

Regardless of personal views on cannabis use, today’s changes impact the entire state.  

Vicente LLP, one of the leading cannabis law firms in the country, predicts that by 2029 the Minnesota Cannabis Market is expected to reach $1.5 billion, with an estimated 15% of the state’s population buying cannabis every month. Many recreational cannabis buyers are projected to come from the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs.  

Only time will tell how this new law will impact the state. Today, however, history is being made as Minnesota begins its next chapter, where recreational cannabis is legal.