Minnesota Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Minnesota Cannabis Law

Medical Cannabis

Minnesota legalized medical cannabis in 2014, becoming the 22nd state to grant some level of access to the drug for medicinal purposes (Laws of Minnesota 2014, chap. 311 (SF2470)). The law created the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research to conduct assessments to evaluate the impact of the use of medical cannabis and evaluate Minnesota’s and other states’ activities involving medical cannabis.

  • Medical cannabis means any species of the genus cannabis plant, or any mixture or preparation of them, including whole plant extracts and resins, and is delivered in the form of:
    • liquid, including, but not limited to, oil;
    • pill;
    • vaporized delivery method with use of liquid or oil;
    • combustion with use of dried raw cannabis; or
    • any other method approved by the commissioner.

Health care practitioner

  • Health care practitioner means a Minnesota licensed doctor of medicine, a Minnesota licensed physician assistant acting within the scope of authorized practice, or a Minnesota licensed advanced practice registered nurse who has the primary responsibility for the care and treatment of the qualifying medical condition of a person diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.

Medical cannabis manufacturer

  • Medical cannabis manufacturer or “manufacturer” means an entity registered by the commissioner to cultivate, acquire, manufacture, possess, prepare, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense medical cannabis, delivery devices, or related supplies and educational materials.

Medical cannabis product

  • Medical cannabis product means any delivery device or related supplies and educational materials used in the administration of medical cannabis for a patient with a qualifying medical condition enrolled in the registry program.


  • Patient means a Minnesota resident who has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a health care practitioner and who has otherwise met any other requirements for patients under sections 152.22 to 152.37 to participate in the registry program under sections 152.22 to 152.37

Patient registry number

  • Patient registry number means a unique identification number assigned by the commissioner to a patient enrolled in the registry program.

Registered designated caregiver

  • Registered designated caregiver means a person who:
  • is at least 18 years old;
  • does not have a conviction for a disqualifying felony offense;
  • has been approved by the commissioner to assist a patient who requires assistance in administering medical cannabis or obtaining medical cannabis from a distribution facility; and
  • is authorized by the commissioner to assist the patient with the use of medical cannabis.

Registry program

  • Registry program means the patient registry established in sections 152.22 to 152.37.

Registry verification

  • Registry verification means the verification provided by the commissioner that a patient is enrolled in the registry program and that includes the patient’s name, registry number, and, if applicable, the name of the patient’s registered designated caregiver or parent, legal guardian, or spouse.

Qualifying medical condition

  • Qualifying medical condition means a diagnosis of any of the following conditions:
  • cancer, if the underlying condition or treatment produces one or more of the following:
    • severe or chronic pain;
    • nausea or severe vomiting; or
    • cachexia or severe wasting;
  • glaucoma;
  • human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
  • Tourette’s syndrome;
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  • 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 probable life expectancy of under one year, if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following:
    • severe or chronic pain;
    • nausea or severe vomiting; or
    • cachexia or severe wasting; or
  • any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the commissioner.

Guidance on Where to Use Medical Cannabis

  • Patients registered with Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program can use their medical cannabis only within Minnesota state lines. Medical cannabis can be used on private property but cannot be smoked or vaped in public places where it is illegal to smoke or vape commercial tobacco. It is against the law for patients to grow their own cannabis plants.
  • Medical cannabis cannot be used or carried:
    • On a school bus or van
    • On the grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school
    • In any correctional facility
    • On the grounds of any child care facility or home day care
    • On the grounds of federal facilities (such as courthouses, post offices, airports, and national parks)
  • Vaping or smoking medical cannabis is not allowed:
    • In any public place, including on public transportation, in any indoor or outdoor area used by or open to the general public or place of employment.
    • While driving, or operating machinery, and anywhere vapor could be inhaled by a minor child who is not a patient or where the smoke would be inhaled by a minor child.
  • Other details
    • People who are living in apartments should check their lease agreement or property manager to determine if any policies ban use of medical cannabis in individual rental units. This is especially important for people who live in federally assisted housing.
    • Due to the federal prohibition of cannabis, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not have the discretion to admit users of marijuana, including medical cannabis, to the public housing program. For applicants, if the public housing authority or private landlord determines that any member of a household is an illegal user of a controlled substance (including medical cannabis), it will deny admission to the housing.
    • For hotel, motel, or vacation rentals, ask about the rules before you book your stay.
    • If a registered patient is caught by law enforcement using medical cannabis where it is prohibited, they have no protections from medical cannabis program laws and subject to criminal and civil penalties.

Is Dried Cannabis Flower Right for You?

  • Patients should talk to their health care practitioner or their Medical Cannabis Dispensary pharmacist if they have questions about whether or not smokable medical cannabis is right for them.
  • Research on the use of medical cannabis is limited, and scientists continue to learn how cannabis may help or harm people. Some patients may get immediate symptom relief by smoking medical cannabis, although the effects may wear off quickly.
  • Potential risks
  • Smoked cannabis may damage a person’s lungs and respiratory system.1
    • Secondhand cannabis smoke contains many of the same toxic and cancer- causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke, with some of those chemicals in higher amounts.2
    • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in cannabis that is responsible for the product’s psychoactive effects (or the high), may be passed to people through secondhand smoke.3
  • To avoid potential risks of secondhand smoke, patients who smoke medical cannabis should do so away from others, especially children and people who may have asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Marijuana tax rates in Minnesota

  • Medical marijuana: Purchases are not taxed.

Minnesota Advertising Guide

  • There are currently no restrictions on advertising for medical marijuana manufacturers and distribution centers.


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