Minnesota Medical Marijuana Laws
On May 29, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed Senate File 2470 (SF 2470), making Minnesota the 22nd state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. The legislation that was ultimately passed reflected a compromise after the state’s House of Representatives and Senate passed different bills.
Despite medical cannabis becoming technically legal in the North Star State, the state’s also came with enormous restrictions. It is important for people to understand that Minnesota significantly limits who can access medical marijuana as well as how such cannabis may be used.
Apple Valley Lawyer Explains Medical Marijuana Laws in Minnesota
Have you been charged with any kind of a cannabis-related offense in the Twin Cities relating to marijuana you needed for a medical condition? It is in your best interest to see how James Blumberg Law can fight to get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Apple Valley criminal defense attorney James Blumberg is a former prosecutor who serves numerous surrounding areas, including Blaine, Woodbury, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park, and more. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 today to schedule a free consultation.
Overview of Medical Marijuana Laws in Minnesota
- Who is eligible to use medical cannabis in Minnesota?
- Where are medical marijuana dispensaries located?
- What are the consequences for violations of state laws relating to medical cannabis?
- Where can I learn more about medical marijuana?
Approved Medical Cannabis Products and Qualifying Conditions
Subdivision 6 of Minnesota Statute § 152.22 defines medical cannabis as “any species of the genus cannabis plant, or any mixture or preparation of them, including whole plant extracts and resins, and is delivered” in only the following forms:
- Liquid, including, but not limited to, oil;
- Vaporized delivery method with use of liquid or oil but which does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form; or
- Any other method, excluding smoking, approved by the commissioner.
The only people eligible to receive medical cannabis in Minnesota are patients who are legal Minnesota residents who have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions:
- Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting;
- Tourette Syndrome;
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS);
- Seizures, including those characteristic of Epilepsy;
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis;
- Crohn’s Disease; and
- Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year.
In regards to a terminal illness, a patient must suffer from cancer or a terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year. That person’s illness or treatment must involve one or more of the following:
- Severe or chronic pain;
- Nausea or severe vomiting; or
- Cachexia or severe wasting.
On December 2, 2015, Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced his decision to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition for Minnesota’s medical cannabis program. Intractable pain is defined as a condition “in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts.”
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Minnesota
Medical cannabis will be available at only eight locations in Minnesota. Three of the cannabis patient center locations already established include:
LeafLine Labs Eagan
2795 Pilot Knob Road
Eagan, MN 55121
(844) LEAFLINE (532-3546)
Minnesota Medical Solutions
207 South 9th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Minnesota Medical Solutions
3456 East Circle Drive NE
Rochester, MN 55906
The five remaining locations that are expected to be open in Spring 2016 include Eden Prairie, Hibbing, Moorhead, St. Cloud, and St. Paul.
Penalties for Medical Cannabis Violations
Minnesota Statute § 152.33 established a number of violations of the medical marijuana program that can lead to criminal charges. Violations include:
- Intentional Diversion — It is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000 for a manufacturer or an agent of a manufacturer to intentionally transfer medical cannabis to a person other than a patient, a registered designated caregiver or, if listed on the registry verification, a parent or legal guardian of a patient;
- Diversion by Patient, Registered Designated Caregiver, or Parent — It is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000 for a patient, registered designated caregiver or, if listed on the registry verification, a parent or legal guardian of a patient to intentionally sell or otherwise transfer medical cannabis to a person other than a patient, designated registered caregiver or, if listed on the registry verification, a parent or legal guardian of a patient;
- False Statement — It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for a person to intentionally make a false statement to a law enforcement official about any fact or circumstance relating to the medical use of cannabis to avoid arrest or prosecution;
- Submission of False Records — It is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000 for a person to knowingly submit false records or documentation required by the commissioner to register as a manufacturer of medical cannabis; and
- Violation by Health Care Practitioner — It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for a health care practitioner to knowingly refer patients to a manufacturer or to a designated caregiver, who advertises as a manufacturer, or who issues certifications while holding a financial interest in a manufacturer.
Any other violation of Minnesota’s THC Therapeutic Research Act for which no penalty is specified is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
Minnesota Medical Marijuana Resources
Medical Cannabis | Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) — Learn more about the state’s medical marijuana program on this section of the MDH website. You can find information for patients, parents/legal guardians, caregivers, health care practitioners, and law enforcement. Additional information includes laws, rules, and policies related to Minnesota medical cannabis as well as recent news, the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry, and various print materials and forms.
Minnesota Department of Health
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55164
Minnesotans for Compassionate Care (MCC) — MCC is a coalition of organizations, medical professionals, patients, and concerned citizens working to protect people with medical conditions from arrest and imprisonment for using medical marijuana with their physicians’ advice. On this website, you can find recent news relating to medical marijuana, see television ads, and learn more about current legislation. You can also read testimonials in support for medical marijuana from people who suffered from or had loved ones who suffered from devastating illnesses.
Find a Lawyer Medical Cannabis Issues in Apple Valley, MN
If you have been arrested for any kind of marijuana crime in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area despite your need for cannabis to treat or alleviate symptoms of a medical condition, make sure that you have legal representation before going to court. James Blumberg Law defends clients accused of everything from simple possession to cultivation of cannabis in communities throughout Washington County, Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and Scott County.
James Blumberg is an experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorney in Apple Valley who represents residents of and visitors to Bloomington, Burnsville, Eagan, Lakeville, Minnetonka, St. Cloud, and several surrounding areas. Call (952) 431-7758 or complete an online contact form right now to receive a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.