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Everything you need to know about the new marijuana bill in Minnesota

Everything you need to know about the new marijuana bill in Minnesota

On May 30, 2023, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law that will make it legal for adults 21 and older to use marijuana legally and allows for expungements of prior marijuana convictions.

We can help you clear your record now — don’t wait for the state!

The bill is around 300 pages long — we read it, so you don’t have to! We’ve included everything you need to know about the new bill and what its implications are for you.

If you’ve been convicted of a marijuana-related crime: All felony-level convictions must be individually reviewed by the Office of Cannabis Management for expungement or resentencing. Unfortunately, the office isn’t expected to be set up for several more months, and the process could take years. But you don’t have to wait — read on to find out how to clear your record faster.

Is weed legal in Minnesota?

As of 2023, Minnesota has legalized recreational marijuana for use by adults over 21. It is the 23rd state in the US to do so. 

When will the bill take effect?

Starting August 1, 2023, the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis will be legal for adults 21 and older. However, it’s important to note that there are limits on exactly how much marijuana you can possess — for example, you can have up to two pounds in your home and up to two ounces in public. 

While recreational use has been legalized, it’s still illegal to:

  • possess more than two pounds in your home
  • possess more than two ounces in public
  • sell marijuana without a state license

If you want to get a commercial license to sell marijuana, you’ll have to wait an additional 12 to 18 months while the regulations are being established.

It’s also important to note that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and is classified as a Schedule I drug.

What’s in the bill at a glance?

The bill’s current version (as of June 2023) permits a person age 21 or older to:

  • possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in a public place or 1.5 pounds in a person’s residence
  • possess or transport no more than 8 grams of adult-use cannabis concentrate
  • possess or transport edible products infused with up to 800 milligrams of THC
  • give away cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in an amount that is legal for a person to possess in public
  • use cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in private areas, and
  • cultivate up to eight cannabis plants, of which four or fewer may be mature, flowering plants.

The bill also includes the creation of an Office of Cannabis Management that will be responsible for regulating cannabis and taking enforcement action. 

Can you grow cannabis in your home?

According to the bill, adults over 21 can grow up to eight flowering plants—with no more than four being mature—at a single residence without a state license.

The bill also states that the plants must be kept in a locked, enclosed space out of public view.

Can you smoke weed in a public place?

According to the recent bill, no. You can currently only use marijuana for recreational purposes:

  • at your private residence
  • on someone else’s private property (with their permission), or 
  • at a business or event that has a license for on-site consumption.

There is room in the bill to allow local governments to adopt ordinances that could make violating this rule a petty misdemeanor. Be sure to check your local regulations.

Can you have marijuana in your car while driving?

You can only have marijuana in your car if it’s unopened, in the package it came in. 

It is illegal, however, to drive under the influence of marijuana or lower-dose, hemp-derived THC edibles. It carries the same penalties as a DWI.

The bill also provides funding for training law enforcement to recognize drugs, and it funds a pilot project that will study roadside tests that can determine if someone is under the influence of marijuana. However, there is currently no test for marijuana that is equivalent to a breathalyzer for alcohol.

How will the new law affect people with previous marijuana offenses?

When will my record be expunged?

The bill states that non-felony cannabis offenses will be automatically expunged, and that the process of doing so will begin on August 1, 2023, but it will likely take many months for any expungements to actually be processed without the assistance of an attorney.

For felony-level offenses, a panel must first be established to review those crimes. Members of the panel will include, among others:

  • the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
  • the attorney general, and
  • a public defender.

The panel will be responsible for individually reviewing felony-level convictions to determine if it is in the public interest to expunge or resentence the conviction. This means that without an attorney, it will take even longer to expunge a record with a felony-level marijuana offense.

How can I clear my record faster?

Before any automatic felony-level offenses can be considered for expungement or resentencing, the state must establish the Office of Cannabis Management and appoint a panel that will review each conviction. 

The state estimates that it will take 12-18 months just to establish the regulations for the sale of cannabis. Legal sales are not expected until early 2025. The state has given no estimates about when the review of felony-level convictions will begin, but we can assume that it won’t be until after all this has been taken care of.

Therefore, it’s likely going to take a significant amount of time to fully establish this office, let alone for the panel to individually review all the felony-level convictions. This means that for those living with life-altering felony convictions, you’ll be expected to wait several months (or years!) to get your freedom back. 

Don’t wait for the state to get its act together. If you’re living with a felony-level marijuana conviction, you know just how life-changing it would be to have it reduced or expunged.

Schedule a free case review with us below — we can help you get your record cleared now, so you don’t have to wait months, or even years, to get your freedoms back.

How many other states have legalized recreational marijuana?

Minnesota is the 23rd state to legalize cannabis. It joins 22 states plus Washington, D.C., where marijuana is legal.

We can help you clear your record now — don’t wait for the state

A felony-level conviction restricts your freedom to vote and possess firearms. It makes it difficult to obtain employment and provide for yourself or your family. A conviction like that follows you everywhere you go — now that marijuana has been legalized, you shouldn’t have to wait any longer for your case to be reviewed for expungement or resentencing.

The next step to the life you want is to schedule a free case review with us — we’ll go over the details of your case and let you know what to expect.

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