Minnesota has recently joined the growing list of states that have legalized recreational cannabis use for adults aged 21 and older. This move marks a significant shift in the state’s approach to cannabis. Below are several key developments shaping the new landscape:
Minnesota’s journey toward cannabis legalization has been gradual. In 2014, the state took its first steps by legalizing limited medical marijuana use, which included nonsmokable forms such as oils and pills.
In 2022, edibles containing small amounts of hemp-derived THC were also legalized. This year, on May 30, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed a comprehensive cannabis legalization bill into law, permitting recreational use for adults starting on Aug. 1.
Dispensaries and tribal sovereignty
While recreational dispensaries are not expected to open until the state establishes a licensing system and tribal governments have been granted more autonomy. Minnesota’s 11 Native American tribal nations hold sovereignty, allowing them to operate independently of state regulations.
This unique situation led to the opening of the first recreational marijuana dispensary, NativeCare, on the Red Lake Nation on Aug. 1.
Possession and cultivation
Although dispensaries are not yet fully operational, Minnesotans have the right to possess, use and even grow cannabis within certain limits. Possession of up to two ounces in public is no longer a crime, and individuals can also have edibles with up to 800 mg of THC as well as cultivate up to eight marijuana plants at home. However, exceeding this limit could result in penalties.
Taxation and regulation
Minnesota has introduced a 10% tax on retail cannabis products, with 80% of the proceeds designated to cover state regulatory costs and the remaining 20% benefiting local governments.
The newly established Office of Cannabis Management will oversee the regulation of the industry, including setting standards and managing licensing. The funds generated will also support public health initiatives, training for drug recognition evaluators and research on cannabis.
Variations and employer policies
Local municipalities have the authority to impose temporary restrictions on cannabis sales until 2025. This has led to a patchwork of regulations across different cities and towns. Similarly, employers can still prohibit cannabis use for certain safety-sensitive roles but must inform employees of their drug-testing policies.
Criminal records and expungement
Minnesota is taking steps to address the impact of previous marijuana convictions. Records related to low-level offenses are being automatically sealed, benefiting thousands of individuals. Cases involving more serious offenses will have a pathway for review and potential expungement, though those involving violence or danger are unlikely to qualify. This process aims to provide a fresh start for many who have been affected by past convictions.
Medical marijuana and future outlook
Minnesota’s medical marijuana program remains intact, serving patients with qualifying conditions. The impact of recreational legalization on medical cannabis providers is uncertain, as is the potential entry of these providers into the recreational market.
The state continues to evolve its cannabis regulations, with changes to the medical program scheduled for 2025.
Minnesota state fair policy
The Minnesota state fair, while possessing its own legal autonomy, has chosen to prohibit cannabis smoking on its grounds in 2023. Discussions about potential rule changes for future fairs remain open.
The implementation of the recreational marijuana law in the state is likely to come with a boom in the sales of many companies, including ancillary ones such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX).
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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