Marijuana legalization: MN Office of Cannabis website offers info for users, expungement of records

Recreational marijuana isn't legal yet in Minnesota, but there's already a website for the Office of Cannabis Management. 

Gov. Tim Walz still has to sign the bill into law. The legislation creates a new Office of Cannabis Management under the umbrella of the Minnesota Department of Health, which now has a website that has gone live to offer information for Minnesotans.

The website currently offers several informal categories, including: for adult consumers, for medical patients, the general public, and those interested in starting a business within the industry.

Sections such as applying for an actual license to run a dispensary haven’t been added, though fees have been established.

  • A "Cannabis cultivator" will face an application fee of $10,000, with a $20,000 initial license fee and renewal license fee of $30,000.
  • A "Cannabis manufacturer" will face an application fee of $10,000; $10,000 initial license fee; renewal license fee of $20,000
  • A "Cannabis retailer" will have an application fee of $2,500, with an initial license fee of $2,500 and a renewal license fee of $5,000.

Under a header of "social equity," the legislation is said to prioritize applications for business licenses from people who, "live in low-income areas that have experienced a disproportionate impact from cannabis prohibition and for military veterans who lost honorable status due to a cannabis-related offense. Social equity includes people who were convicted of cannabis-related offenses before the effective date of the legislation."

The following is quick-bite information about what Minnesotans can expect once Gov. Walz signs the legislation into law.

When will it become legal? 

cannabis marijuana

As lawmakers continue to find compromises that would best suit Minnesota’s legalization of recreational marijuana, final decisions could come as soon as this week. (FOX 9)

Aug. 1. But just because it's legal then does not mean it will be for sale in Minnesota. It's going to take at least a year for the state to set up the infrastructure to support the cannabis industry and license dispensaries.

Once for sale in dispensaries, cannabis will be subject to a 10% tax in addition to state sales tax. You can start growing up to eight marijuana plants – though only four can be flowering at a time – at home beginning Aug. 1. 

How much can you buy and have? 

Minnesotans 21 and older can buy up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 3 grams of concentrate or 800 milligrams of edibles. They can also have that amount on their person in public.

Where can you use it? 

The short answer is, at home. The legislation bars people from using while driving, while on public transportation or near a childcare or daycare facility. 

Can an employer fire a worker for using marijuana? 

The legislation bans employees from discriminating against or firing a person who has had a positive drug test, but jobs in places like the federal government and education or are exempt. 

Companies can ban workers from using or having marijuana at work during business hours or when operating a company vehicle or machine. 

What else does the bill do? 

It will automatically expunge misdemeanor marijuana crimes from criminal records. The legislation will also allow those convicted of marijuana crimes in the past to go to the front of the line when it comes to obtaining a license to sell marijuana.