On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, Governor Walz signed the HF100 bill into law, making Minnesota the 23rd state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana use. So, without combing through all 321-pages of the bill, what does legalization mean for you?
A Quick Overview of the Cannabis Legalization Law for Minnesotans:
1. Possession Becomes Legal August 1, 2023
The legislation allows Adults age 21+ in Minnesota to possess or transport up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrate and 800 milligrams of edible product (including low-potency hemp-derived product). Adults can possess up to 2 pounds of cannabis flower in a private residence.
2. Centralized Regulation & Licensing
The law creates a new state agency, called the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). They will be tasked with licensing cannabis and hemp businesses, overseeing a legal recreational market, as well as the existing medical cannabis and hemp-derived markets. OCM is slated to be up and running early 2025.
3. Social Equity / Expungement for Previous Marijuana Charges
This law creates a Division of Social Equity within the OCM, which will provide outreach and services to communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition. It gives higher priority to “social equity applicants” for cannabis business licenses, and access to special grants created by the legislation.
This law mandates the expungement of all misdemeanor marijuana offenses and to review felony offenses for possible expungement on a case-by-case basis. We are proud that Beecher Vaillancourt, one of Turning Leaf’s Founder’s, has been providing ongoing support to advance expungements though events and clinics through The Great Rise organization.
4. MN Medical Cannabis Program Continue with Expansion
Minnesota will continue to have a medical cannabis program, with some planned changes. Effective July 1, the law will remove the $200 enrollment fee for new patients.
In 2025, more businesses will be granted licenses to enter the medical market. Since its inception, the Minnesota medical marijuana industry has been dominated by two out-of-state operators that were allowed to grow, process and sell limited types of products at a small number of dispensaries around the state. The law will also allow medical marijuana providers to apply for a license to sell to both recreational and medical customers, at one site per business per congressional district.
5. Low-Dose Hemp Edibles & Beverages Still Available
You can still get low-dose, hemp-derived THC gummies and edibles like we provide at Turning Leaf. Regulation of these products will move to the Minnesota Department of Health, and then transfer to the Office of Cannabis Management on March 1, 2025. Since the legalization of the low-dose hemp derived THC in July 2022, the rules have been gray (to say the least) – allowing for broad and differing interpretations of the rules. Licensing and inspections of manufacturing and retail facilities will be required. The Minnesota Department of Health will initially oversee temporary regulations until their transfer to the OCM in 2025.
6. Tax Rate for Cannabis is 10%
A 10% tax rate has been set on the sale of cannabis products, though this will not apply to purchases made through the state’s medical cannabis program. State and local sales taxes will also apply to retail cannabis sales. Though, local governments are prohibited from imposing any additional sales tax solely on cannabis products.
7. Allocations for Projected Tax Revenue
The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that recreational cannabis sales could generate a whopping $107 million in annual tax revenue for the state and $21.5 million for local governments. State and local governments are estimated to collect a combined $300 million in tax revenue from fiscal year 2024 to 2027.
So where will all those funds go? Minnesota plans to share one-fifth of the tax revenue with local governments. Revenue will also be distributed to state agencies to cover the costs of oversight of the cannabis industry, law enforcement and various grants created by the legislation.
8. Boundaries Set on Where You Can Consume Cannabis
No, you likely won’t see a gaggle of grownups smoking up on the corner on August 1. As, the law sets limitations on where the consumption of cannabis is permitted. Adults 21+ will be allowed to use marijuana in their private residence/yard; on private property that is not accessible to the public, if permitted by the owner; or on the premises of a business or event licensed for on-site consumption. Vaping or smoking cannabis in a multifamily housing building would be prohibited, however, except for registered medical cannabis patients.
Cannabis consumption in any form will also be prohibited in motor vehicles, on school property and within state correctional facilities. Additionally, owners of child day care programs will be required to disclose to families if they allow employees to consume cannabis on their grounds outside of operation hours.
9. Grow Your Own Cannabis Plants
As of August 1, 2023 Minnesotans 21+ will be allowed to grow up to eight cannabis plants per residence, with no more than four being mature and flowering at the same time. And, you better believe Turning Leaf will be there to provide quality seeds and grow kit options.
Plants can be grown indoors or outdoors, as long as they are in an enclosed, locked space that is not visible to the public. Homegrowers will not be allowed to use chemical processes to extract cannabinoids without a license, as it can be pretty dangerous to do this outside a laboratory setting.
While you can grow your own plants, and possess cannabis as of August 1, the first business licenses are estimated to be issued around May 2024. Retail sales are not expected to begin until early 2025. Most changes to the state’s medical cannabis program will go into effect on March 1, 2025. In the meantime, we will be here to update you as we learn more about this exciting change for our state.
We’re Your Canna-seur.
Our hemp-derived cannabis products, such as: CBD, Delta-8* and Delta-9 are purchased from reputable companies that provide Certificate of Analysis (COA) and third-party lab testing on products. We feature brands like: Foundry Nation, BLNCD naturals, Botany Farms Blazy Susan and Mike Tyson’s new Wraps & Cones.
*Delta-8 products are available in Wisconsin Stores only.