Cannabis in Minnesota

Cannabis in Minnesota is illegal for recreational use, but permitted for medical use, and possession of personal amounts was decriminalized in 1976.

Decriminalization (1976)

In 1976, during a short-lived wave of decriminalization in the country, Minnesota reduced the penalty for possession for 42.5 grams or less to a petty misdemeanor.[1]

Medical marijuana (2014)

In May 2014 Governor Mark Dayton signed into law a bill legalizing marijuana for the treatment of nine severe medical conditions, including cancer, severe epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Tourette's syndrome, ALS and Crohn's Disease.[2]

Registration for the program] began on June 1, 2015, with actual distribution of medical marijuana beginning July 1, 2015. It is considered to be the most restrictive medical marijuana bill in the country,[3] due to the limited number of medical conditions that qualify, and the forms of cannabis that are legal. To qualify for the program, patients must be diagnosed with one of the following conditions: Cancer (with pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or wasting), Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourettes, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), a seizure disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, or a painful terminal illness with less than a year to live.[4] For those individuals who meet the medical criteria, cannabis will only be legally available in liquid, pill or vaporized delivery method that does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form.[5]

The Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act creates a patient registry under the Department of Health relating to the therapeutic use of medical cannabis. It authorizes the use of medical cannabis in limited forms for certain qualifying medical conditions and regulates the distribution and manufacture of medical cannabis. It also creates a task force to conduct an impact assessment on medical cannabis therapeutic research and provides for certain criminal and civil protections for parties involved in the registry program. This passed the House 89–40 and the Senate 46–16.[6]


  1. Robert J. MacCoun; Peter Reuter (27 August 2001). Drug War Heresies: Learning from Other Vices, Times, and Places. Cambridge University Press. pp. 46–. ISBN 978-0-521-79997-3.
  3. "Medical marijuana on verge of Minn. law; it will be strictest in U.S.". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  4. "Medical Cannabis". Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  5. "General Information about the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program". Retrieved November 9, 2015.
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