Minnesota Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS MINNESOTA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 04/06/2022
Minnesota’s legislation led by Senator Mark Koran was introduced March 29, 2022 to allow the Minnesota Department of Health to license at least two more vertically integrated medical cannabis companies in the state. Currently, the only licensed operators are LeafLine Labs and Green Goods.
On March 1, 2022 a new law went into effect to allow medical cannabis patients to access cannabis flower. With over 30,000 patients in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program legislators predict that flower sales will increase the rest of this year.
WHAT ARE MINNESOTA’S CURRENT CANNABIS LAWS?
As of 2014 cannabis in Minnesota is legal for medical use, but remains illegal for recreational use. However, recreational use has been decriminalized since 1976. A series of medical cannabis laws establish and protect the legal medical cannabis system, as well as outline which patients are allowed to participate. The Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act allows patients with qualifying conditions to register for medical cannabis with conditions such as cancer, severe epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Tourette’s syndrome, ALS, and Crohn’s Disease. Minnesota’s medical cannabis program is considered to be one of the most restrictive in the country due to the limited number of medical conditions that qualify and the forms of legal medical cannabis.
Possession of recreational cannabis up to 42.5 grams or less is considered a petty misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $200.
Minnesota is still developing its presence in the cannabis industry. The state has created a successful medical cannabis program, but has yet to legalize cannabis for recreational use. However, new political moves are being made that could include cannabis legalization legislation on the Minnesotan ballot in November 2022.
WHAT IS MINNESOTA'S CURRENT CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Minnesota’s medical cannabis program and application process is regulated by Minnesota’s Department of Health. All Minnesota medical cannabis state-sanctioned manufacturers and retailers applied for their licenses in 2014, and the state is not currently accepting more applications.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN MINNESOTA?
Early on in 1976 Minnesota decriminalized cannabis possession under 42.5 grams or less as a small misdemeanor. According to the Marijuana Policy Project (mpp.org), in May of 2014 the Minnesota Senate and House passed different medical marijuana bills, including the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act. The Senate bill included more patients, including those with PTSD, severe nausea, and intractable pain. The House bill reflected several demands from law enforcement and Governor Mark Dayton, including prohibiting patients from using cannabis flowers or leaves in their natural form, having a monopoly manufacturer, and including an invasive observational study. On May 15, 2014, a committee agreed to a compromise and the House and Senate signed off on the House bill the following day. Dayton signed the bill into law on May 29, 2014. The first dispensary opened a little more than a year later, on July 1, 2015.
In 2018, Governor Tim Walz sparked the conversation around recreational legalization arguing the tax revenue could be great for the state and lead to less arrests for drug-related offenses. The following year, in 2019, Senator Melisa Franzen, Representative Mike Feiberg, and Senator Scott Jensen introduced a bill that would allow people over 21 to possess, grow, and purchase limited quantities of cannabis. The Senate Republicans in Minnesota voted against the proposed measure to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Republicans also decided not to create a task-force to study the issue further.
On May 5, 2020, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) introduced his long-awaited legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis. Unfortunately, the bill didn’t advance before the legislature adjourned on May 18. Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) has said the Republican caucus is strongly opposed and that legalization would not pass the Senate.
DOES MINNESOTA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
PREPARING FOR THE MINNESOTA CANNABIS MARKET
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Minnesota. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.