Minnesota Cannabis Dispensary Laws

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

As of August 2023, Minnesota has embraced full cannabis legalization, allowing the possession, use, and home cultivation of cannabis for individuals aged 21 and older, thus making Minnesota the 23rd state in the US to legalize cannabis use for people 21 and older. This significant shift in marijuana legislation has paved the way for the establishment of adult-use cannabis retail stores across the state by Minnesota’s Office of Cannabis Management. On this page, you’ll learn all you need to know about the process for obtaining an adult-use marijuana retail license in Minnesota, who is eligible to apply, associated costs, social equity provisions, location requirements, product regulations, taxes, sales channels, packaging and labeling requirements, and advertising restrictions. This page is informational only and should not be considered legal advice.


Minnesota Cannabis Laws Key Takeaways

  • Minnesota's regulatory framework for adult-use, medical, and low-potency hemp edibles will evolve over time with input from communities across the state.
  • Minnesota's Medical Cannabis Program will transition from the Minnesota Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management, effective March 1, 2025. Medical cannabis product sales will not be subject to taxation.
  • Retail sales of adult-use cannabis in Minnesota are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2025, as proposed by the legislation.
  • Starting from August 1, 2023, individuals aged 21 and older in Minnesota can legally possess and use specific quantities of cannabis and cannabis products, though federal property remains off-limits.
  • A 10% tax will be applied to cannabis product sales in addition to standard state and local sales taxes. There will be no separate cannabis-specific tax at the local level.

 

Oklahoma Dispensary Laws / Washington Dispensary Laws / Colorado Dispensary Laws / California Dispensary Laws / Maine Dispensary Laws Missouri Dispensary Laws / Michigan Dispensary Laws / Maryland Dispensary Laws / Illinois Dispensary Laws / Nevada Dispensary Laws / Montana Dispensary Laws / Alaska Dispensary Laws / New Jersey Dispensary Laws

Minnesota Cannabis Laws

An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Minnesota.

Who can purchase cannabis in Minnesota and what are the limits?

In Minnesota, as of August 1, 2023, individuals aged 21 and older can consume cannabis for recreational use. The limits for cannabis possession and use are as follows:

  • Possess or transport up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in a public place.
  • Possess up to 2 pounds of cannabis flower in a person's private residence.
  • Possess or transport up to 8 grams of adult-use concentrate.
  • Possess or transport edible cannabis products or lower-potency hemp edibles infused with a combined 800 milligrams or less of THC.

These limits are for personal use and possession in compliance with the state's recreational cannabis laws.

What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients in Minnesota?

Minnesota has a medical marijuana program that allows patients with specific qualifying medical conditions to access medical cannabis. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the qualifying conditions included:

  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea, or severe vomiting, or cachexia, or severe wasting.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Tourette's syndrome.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy.
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease.
  • Terminal illness, with a life expectancy of less than one year, if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia, or severe wasting.
  • Intractable pain.

Please note that the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana may have been updated since then. It's essential to check with the Minnesota Department of Health or a healthcare provider for the most current information.

Is home cultivation of cannabis allowed in Minnesota?

Yes, home cultivation of cannabis is allowed in Minnesota for individuals aged 21 and older. The law permits the following:

  • Up to eight cannabis plants, with no more than four being mature, flowering plants, may be grown at a single residence as long as it is at the primary residence of someone 21 or older.
  • Plants must be in an enclosed, locked space that is not open for public view.

This provision allows adults to cultivate their cannabis plants for personal use within specified limits.

Where can cannabis be consumed in Minnesota?

Cannabis consumption in Minnesota is subject to certain restrictions:

  • Cannabis can be used by people 21 and older on private property (unless the property owner prohibits cannabis use).
  • It can be consumed in private residences.
  • Consumption is permitted at places with approved licenses or event permits, though as of the provided information, no licenses or event permits are available.
  • Cannabis cannot be used when operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery.
  • Consumption is prohibited in specific locations, including public schools, state correctional facilities, areas where the smoke or vapor could be inhaled by a minor, federal property, federally subsidized housing, and on an employer's premises or while operating their vehicles, machinery, or equipment.
  • Smoking or vaping adult-use cannabis products is prohibited in multifamily housing buildings.
  • Owners of daycares must disclose if they permit cannabis use outside of their normal business hours.

It's important to note that local communities may have additional ordinances that prohibit smoking or vaping cannabis in public places, so it's advisable to check local regulations as well.

Retail Cannabis Business Licensing in Minnesota

Everything you need to know about opening a retail cannabis location in Minnesota.

What state agency is in charge of cannabis licensing in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, the state agency responsible for cannabis licensing and regulation is the "Office of Cannabis Management" (OCM). The OCM will henceforth oversee the licensing and regulation of both adult-use (recreational) and medical cannabis businesses in the state

Who can apply for a Cannabis business license in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, individuals and entities interested in obtaining a marijuana business license must meet specific eligibility criteria. Applicants must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Pass background checks with no disqualifying criminal convictions.
  • Meet residency requirements outlined by the state.
  • Comply with any additional requirements set by the OCM.

What is the process for obtaining a new recreational cannabis retail license in Minnesota?

Obtaining an adult-use marijuana retail license in Minnesota involves several steps:

  1. Preparation: Before applying, thoroughly research the legal requirements and regulations. Prepare a detailed business plan outlining your dispensary's operations, security measures, and compliance strategies.
  2. Application Submission: Submit an application to the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) during open application periods. Pay the required application fee, which varies depending on the license type.
  3. Background Check: All applicants will undergo a background check to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria, including criminal history checks.
  4. Public Notice: The applicant must provide public notice of the intent to open a dispensary, allowing the community to voice concerns or support.
  5. Review Process: The OCM will review applications, and successful applicants will receive provisional licenses.
  6. Inspection: The OCM will conduct inspections to ensure compliance with safety and security standards.
  7. Final Approval: After successful inspections, the OCM grants final licenses.

What costs are associated with applying for an adult-use cannabis retail license in Minnesota?

The costs associated with applying for an adult-use cannabis retail license vary depending on the license type and may include:

  • Application fees differ for each license category.
  • Costs related to securing a suitable location.
  • Legal and consulting fees for application assistance.
  • Costs for background checks and fingerprinting.
  • Compliance and security infrastructure expenses.

Learn more about the cost of opening a dispensary here. 

Minnesota Cannabis Retail and Dispensary Establishment Laws

Learn how to remain compliant with Minnesota’s cannabis dispensary retail laws.

Where can a cannabis dispensary or retail establishment be located?

Minnesota has specific regulations regarding the location of marijuana dispensaries and retail establishments. Dispensaries must be:

  • At least 500 feet away from schools, public parks, and libraries.
  • Sited in areas zoned for commercial or industrial use.
  • Compliant with any local zoning regulations.

To whom can Minnesota marijuana retailers sell?

Licensed cannabis retailers in Minnesota can sell to individuals aged 21 and older or patients with a valid medical marijuana card. It is illegal to sell to minors or anyone who cannot provide valid identification proving their age.

What products can a Minnesota cannabis dispensary sell?

Licensed retailers in Minnesota can sell a variety of cannabis products, including:

  • Cannabis flower
  • Cannabis concentrates
  • Edible cannabis products
  • Lower-potency hemp edibles
  • Cannabis paraphernalia

Can medical marijuana and recreational cannabis be sold in the same dispensary?

Yes, a dispensary in Minnesota can sell both medical marijuana and recreational cannabis products. However, the two types of products must be distinguished and kept separate to ensure compliance with regulations.

What taxes are collected on retail cannabis in Minnesota?

At the point of sale, Cannabis sales in Minnesota are subject to a 10% cannabis tax, which is in addition to standard state and local sales tax rates. However, medical cannabis product sales are exempt from this tax.

Are delivery and online sales for recreational cannabis products allowed?

There are no details yet about the delivery or online sales for recreational cannabis products in Minnesota. The legislation might evolve, so it's essential to stay updated on any changes regarding these sales channels.

What are the packing and labeling requirements for a cannabis retail dispensary in Minnesota?

Minnesota enforces strict packaging and labeling requirements to ensure consumer safety and information transparency. Cannabis products must be:

  • Sold in child-resistant packaging.
  • Clearly labeled with THC content and other relevant information.
  • Include warnings about the potential health risks of cannabis use.
  • Adhere to any additional packaging and labeling rules set by the OCM.

What are the marketing and advertising restrictions in Minnesota pertaining to cannabis sales?

Advertising and marketing for cannabis products in Minnesota are subject to various restrictions, including:

  • Prohibition of advertising to minors.
  • Prohibition of false or misleading advertising.
  • Restrictions on advertising in places where minors are likely to be present.
  • Compliance with state advertising regulations.

Cannabis Tracking and Reporting in Minnesota

Every regulated cannabis market has its own tracking and reporting requirements. Find here how Minnesota monitors commercial cannabis activity.

What are the tracking, reporting, and inventory control requirements for Minnesota cannabis retailers?

For tracking, reporting, and inventory control requirements for cannabis retailers in Minnesota, keep checking the official website of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) for the most up-to-date and specific information, as they'll get released with time. 

Is Cova compliant with Minnesota’s cannabis dispensary reporting requirements?

Yes. Cova's Cannabis Dispensary POS Software and inventory management system includes all the features needed to keep cannabis retailers compliant, including:

  • ID scanner for age and card verification
  • Integrated inventory and sales tracking and reporting
  • Built-in product equivalency conversions and purchase limit enforcement.

Navigating the regulatory landscape for establishing a compliant cannabis dispensary in Minnesota requires careful planning and adherence to state laws and regulations. As the industry evolves, staying informed about updates and changes in legislation is crucial to ensuring the success and compliance of your cannabis retail business. Sign up below for regular updates.

ron-segev

RON SEGEV

Cannabis Business Lawyer & Founding Partner, Segev LLP

Legally reviewed by

RON SEGEV

Ron Segev is the founding partner of Segev LLP. A practical-minded business lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry, he represents cultivators, dispensaries, CBD extractors, oil extractors, food processors, media and marketing companies, consultancies, and other businesses in the legal cannabis market.

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