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Marijuana Cultivation

Cultivation is defined as the act of growing and caring for plants. Under Minnesota law, cultivation also translates to sale.

Subdivision 7 of Minnesota Statute § 152.01 defines manufacture as meaning and including cultivation of drugs, and Subdivision 15a of that same statute includes manufacture as one of the definitions for the term sell. A person can essentially face felony sale of marijuana charges for cultivating marijuana in Minnesota—even if the cannabis was being grown only for the alleged offender’s own personal use.

Lawyer for Marijuana Cultivation Arrests in Apple Valley, MN

If you were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation for allegedly cultivating cannabis in the Twin Cities, you should not say anything to authorities without legal representation. It is in your best interest to contact James Blumberg Law for help getting your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

James Blumberg is an experienced Apple Valley criminal defense attorney who represents people accused of marijuana manufacturing crimes in Bloomington, St. Cloud, Minnetonka, Lakeville, Eagan, Burnsville, and several other nearby areas. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Minnesota Marijuana Manufacturing Information Center


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Marijuana Cultivation Penalties in Dakota County

If a person is arrested for growing or manufacturing cannabis, the criminal charges are based on the aggregate weight of the plants involved. Under the previously mentioned definitions, an alleged offender who is accused of cultivating marijuana will be charged with a crime relating to sale of the drug.

Depending on the amount of cannabis involved, a person could receive any one of the following sentences:

  • Sale of Small Amount of Marijuana — Under Minnesota Statute § 152.027, a first offense for the sale of 42.5 Grams (1.499143 Ounces) or less of cannabis is a petty misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $300 and possible requirement to participate in a drug education program, and any subsequent offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000;
  • Controlled Substance Crime in the Fifth Degree — Under Minnesota Statute § 152.025, a first offense for the sale of more than 42.5 grams, but less than five kilograms (176.37 ounces) of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000, and any subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of six months and a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $20,000;
  • Controlled Substance Crime in the Third Degree — Under Minnesota Statute § 152. 023, a first offense for the sale of five kilograms or more, but less than 25 kilograms (881.849 ounces) of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000, and any subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of two years and a maximum of 30 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000;
  • Controlled Substance Crime in the Second Degree — Under Minnesota Statute § 152. 022, a first offense for the sale of 25 kilograms or more, but less than 50 kilograms (1,763.7 ounces) of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $500,000, and any subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of three years and a maximum of 40 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $500,000; and
  • Controlled Substance Crime in the First Degree — Under Minnesota Statute § 152. 021, a first offense for the sale of 50 kilograms or more of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1 million, and any subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of four years and a maximum of 40 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1 million.

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Medical Marijuana and the Necessity Defense for Cultivation Charges in Apple Valley

On May 29, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed into law a bill legalizing medical marijuana. The bill’s passage, however, did not come without a number of restrictions.

First of all, medical cannabis was limited to liquids, pills, vaporized delivery methods via liquid or oil but not dried leaves or plant form, and “any other method,” specifically excluding smoking. Additionally, patients would not have been able to cultivate their own smokable marijuana as the bill also limited production of all medical cannabis in Minnesota to two in-state manufacturers.

While medical marijuana only became legal in the North Star State in July 2015, several pending bills in the state legislature are seeking to modify existing laws to create additional rights for users of medical cannabis. Two such pieces of legislation would allow people charged with marijuana crimes to invoke the medical necessity defense.

The necessity defense is essentially an affirmative defense in which the criminal use of cannabis is justified as being less harmful than the possibility of severe pain or even death. Minnesota courts have not yet recognized use of what has been referred to as the “lesser of two evils” defense.


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Minnesota Marijuana Cultivation Resources

State v. Hanson — In 1991, the Minnesota Court of Appeals heard the case of Gordon Hanson, a man who had suffered from epilepsy since 1956 and been prescribed many medications but began experimenting with marijuana for medicinal purposes. He appealed a conviction for marijuana possession in 1982 all the way to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, but the court rejected his challenge to the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. In 1989, he was arrested for the cultivation of marijuana and attempted to present a defense of medical necessity. The trial court issued an order granting the state's motion to exclude the defense of medical necessity, despite Hanson presenting expert testimony from a neurologist specializing in epilepsy and a neurologist active in drug research and development supporting his claims. The Court of Appeals ultimately affirmed that the trial court “did not err in concluding that the medical necessity defense cannot be applied to the possession or use of marijuana,” writing:

The defense of necessity is available only in situations wherein the legislature has not itself, in its criminal statute, made a determination of values. If it has done so, its decision governs.

1 LaFave & Scott, Substantive Criminal Law § 5.4, 631 (1986) (footnotes omitted); see also 10 Unif. Laws Annot. Model Penal Code § 3.02(c) ("a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed does not otherwise plainly appear").

The Minnesota legislature has attached criminal penalties to the possession, sale or cultivation of marijuana. Minn.Stat. §§ 152.01, subd. 7, 152.02, subd. 1 (1990), 152.09, subd. 1(1) (1988). The statutory classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance implies a determination that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in the United States." Minn.Stat. § 152.02, subd. 7(1) (1990). The legislature has enacted a single exception, in the THC Therapeutic Research Act (TRA), exempting from criminal sanctions possession or use of marijuana for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who are receiving the drug under the strict controls of an approved medical research program. Minn. Stat. § 152.21, subds. 1, 3, 6 (1990). These statutory provisions demonstrate that the legislature has specifically addressed and determined the possible medical uses of marijuana.

Minnesota Court of Appeal
25 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-1000

Senate File 404 (SF 404) — On January 29, 2015, this bill that would allow alleged offenders in criminal proceedings and people involved in civil or administrative proceedings the right to introduce evidence or testimony of a medical need to use, or a therapeutic or palliative benefit derived from the use of, natural herbs of the genus Cannabis was introduced in the Senate. A few days later, House File (HF 542) containing virtually the same language was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives. SF 404 was last referred to the Judiciary Committee, and HF 542 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance.

Minnesota Senate
95 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-0504

Minnesota House of Representatives
100 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2146


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Find a Lawyer for Manufacturing Marijuana Arrests in Dakota County

Do you think you might be under investigation or have you been arrested for allegedly cultivating cannabis in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area? James Blumberg Law defends clients accused of all sorts of marijuana offenses in Carver County, Anoka County, Washington County, Scott County, Ramsey County, Hennepin County, and Dakota County.

Apple Valley criminal defense attorney James Blumberg is a former prosecutor who also helps residents of Plymouth, Woodbury, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and many surrounding communities. Call (952) 431-7758 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyer evaluate your case during a free consultation.


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James L. Blumberg

Attorney James L. Blumberg

As a former prosecutor in the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, James Blumberg has experience on both sides of the criminal courtroom. He knows how to fight to get charges reduced or dismissed for clients in the Twin Cities area.

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