Is weed legal in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, marijuana is legal for medical purposes only and only in certain forms.

Adult-use, or recreational, marijuana is not legal in Minnesota. Possession of less than 42.5 grams (1.5 ounces) of cannabis is considered a petty misdemeanor. First-time offenders may be ordered to attend drug rehab, though the law does allow a fine of up to $300.

Legislation history

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Act into law in May 2014. Minnesota was the 23rd state to enact medical marijuana legislation. The law created the state’s Medical Cannabis Program and Registry under the auspices of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Sales began in 2018.

Where is it safe to purchase weed in Minnesota?
Minnesota patients may purchase cannabis medicine at state-approved dispensaries. It’s available as:

  • Capsules
  • Liquid, including oil
  • Lozenges
  • Oral sprays
  • Pills
  • Tablets
  • Tinctures
  • Topicals
  • Vaporization cartridges
  • Vaporization devices (vape pens) are also available.

At the dispensary, patients need to provide a summary of their doctor visit and a list of prescribed medications. These will be given to them by the certifying health-care provider. They must fill out a self-evaluation form in-store if they haven’t already completed it online. After reviewing these items, the on-site pharmacist will recommend a cannabis dosage for the patient.

Finding licensed dispensaries in Minnesota

Registered patients can find licensed dispensaries in Minnesota and search by cities including Minneapolis, Rochester, and Fargo. Delivery remains illegal but many dispensaries in Minnesota offer curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.

Where is it safe to consume cannabis?

Most of the legal forms of medical cannabis are taken orally so consumption shouldn’t be much of an issue. Nonetheless, Minnesota law states that patients can’t do anything while under the influence of medical cannabis that would be considered negligent or lead to professional malpractice.

It forbids possessing or consuming cannabis medicine while operating a vehicle or while on a school bus or school grounds, in a correctional facility, or on the grounds of any child-care facility.

Vaping medical cannabis is forbidden in any public place, including public transportation, or where the vapor could be inhaled by a minor.

Possessing cannabis

Registered and certified medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can legally possess a 30-day supply of cannabis at the dosage determined by the pharmacist.

For those who aren’t registered medical marijuana patients, possession of less than 42.5 grams (1.5 ounces) of cannabis is considered a petty misdemeanor. First-time offenders may be ordered to attend drug rehab, though the law does allow a fine of up to $300. Possessing more than 42.5 grams of cannabis is considered a felony.

Medical cannabis program

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis oversees the Medical Cannabis Program. The program maintains the patient, caregiver, and health-care practitioners registries and promulgates program rules.

Qualifying conditions

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Autism
  • Cachexia, or wasting disease
  • Cancer, if the underlying condition or treatment causes severe or chronic pain, nausea, or severe vomiting
  • Chronic or intractable pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures, including epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including multiple sclerosis
  • Terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of less than a year if the illness or its treatment causes cachexia (severe wasting disease), nausea, or severe vomiting

Minnesotans can petition the Medical Cannabis Program to add new conditions.

Patient application process

To receive medical marijuana, patients must enroll in the Medical Cannabis Registry and complete the application process.

Patients must:

  1. Visit a doctor, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse
  2. Receive a diagnosis of one or more of the qualifying conditions
  3. Talk to the practitioner about adding a caregiver, if applicable
  4. Give the health-care practitioner their email address
  5. Request a visit summary with medications and medical conditions
  6. Check their email for confirmation of certification and a registration link
  7. Register online providing:
    1. Government-issued ID
    2. $200 registration payment
    3. Proof of eligibility for discount fee, if applicable
    4. Caregiver’s information, if applicable
  8. Complete self-evaluation report (must be done before each purchase)
  9. Go to a Cannabis Patient Center to visit with a pharmacist and purchase cannabis medication


During the certification process, patients can also ask to designate a parent, legal guardian, or another person as a caregiver to administer cannabis and acquire it at dispensaries, if patients are disabled. The health-care practitioners must approve the caregiver. Once the practitioner has approved the caregiver, parents, guardians, or spouses can register themselves. Copies of birth or adoption certificates, legal guardian documents, or marriage licenses will be required at the time of registration.

Other caregivers must:

  1. Wait for the patient to add the caregiver’s information to their account, which generates an email to the caregiver
  2. Click the link and complete the enrollment form
  3. Provide government-issued ID
  4. Print, complete, and mail background check form, $15 check, and stamped, self-addressed envelope
  5. Receive confirmation email before picking up or administering medical cannabis

Note: Caregiver background checks can take up to 30 days.

Lab testing

According to Minnesota law, state-approved labs must test medical cannabis products for:

  • Cannabinoids
  • Metals
  • Microbes
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Residual solvents

Frequently Asked Questions

Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler introduced HF 4632, a bill to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in the state, in early May 2020. The measure didn’t advance before the legislature adjourned later that month. There is no citizen-initiated ballot initiative process in Minnesota so legalization will have to go through the legislature.
Sensible Change MN has a voter guide that lists candidates in house and senate races who support adult-use legislation.

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