ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers in the Senate and House passed a bill early on Saturday morning that would allow adults to legally use, possess and grow cannabis. Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to sign the bill into law, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to run down to the gas station to pick up a pack of joints on Tuesday afternoon.
The state has noted that a regulatory framework will take time to develop once the bill is signed into law, with plans for retail sales beginning in the first quarter of 2025.
However, beginning Aug. 1, adults in Minnesota will be able to have and use certain amounts of cannabis and cannabis products.
Here's what you need to know about legal cannabis in Minnesota:
Who can have and buy cannabis?
People 21 and older can buy and transport 2 ounces of flower, 8 grams of THC concentrate and 800 milligrams of edible product, including the lower-potency edibles currently legal in Minnesota.
How much cannabis can a person have?
In their homes, an adult can have up to two pounds of cannabis flower.
Beginning on Aug. 1, adults can grow up to eight plants, with no more than four being mature. To grow more plants, the grower will need a cultivation license.
Plants need to be grown in an enclosed, locked space not open to public view.
Where is it legal to use cannabis?
Cannabis can be used by adults on private property, in private homes and in places with an approved license or an event permit.
Just because you can smoke a cigarette in a location does not automatically mean that cannabis use will be permitted in that space. Smoking or vaping cannabis will not be allowed in any multi-family housing building, like apartments or condos.
Cannabis cannot be used while driving, boating or using any motor vehicle. The law will also ban anyone from using or possessing cannabis at a public school, charter school or on a school bus, in a state correctional facility, locations where any smoke or vapor could be inhaled by a minor, and on federal property like courthouses, airports and national parks.
"If you're impaired, you shouldn't be driving," Jason Tarasek with Minnesota Cannabis Law told KARE 11. "You shouldn't be on the roads. Cops can use field sobriety tests to measure impairment. The bill allocates a lot of money towards drug recognition experts so that law enforcement officials will be trained to recognize if someone is impaired by marijuana."
How will cannabis be taxed?
In addition to state and local taxes, consumers can expect to pay a 10% sales tax on cannabis products. While local governments won't have an additional cannabis-specific tax, they will be allowed to limit the number of cannabis retailers to one for every 12,500 residents.
Revenue from this tax money will be split 80% for the state's general fund and 20% to local government aid.
For medical cannabis patients, there will not be a sales tax.
How will people already using medical cannabis be affected?
In Minnesota, cannabis is already legal for the treatment of certain medical conditions, like cancer, PTSD and chronic pain.
Starting on July 1, the annual enrollment fee for patients will be eliminated.
Instead of patients recertifying annually, it will only be necessary to go through the process every three years, starting on March 1, 2025. The program will move from oversight under the Minnesota Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management.
How does the process of expunging criminal records work?
People convicted of low-level crimes tied to cannabis will have their records expunged, making the record not publically accessible to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
When people's criminal records are sealed, lawmakers hope that some of the barriers tied to background checks for jobs and housing will come down.
Not many details about the expungement process are available at this time, but the state has said the Cannabis Expungement Board will be made up of at least five officials, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General or their designees.
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