Marijuana Laws in Minnesota: What Are the Penalties?

Deciphering Minnesota's Use, Possession and Dealing Laws

Marijuana leaves
••• Recreational marijuana use is illegal in Minnesota, but some medicinal use is permitted. Carlos Gracia/2.0 BY CC/Flickr

If you're a marijuana user planning to visit Minnesota, note that the state's laws may differ from your home state. In Minnesota, marijuana is a controlled substance, which means that using, possessing and dealing it is illegal in the state. Fines and penalties (current as of June 2017) depend on factors such as how much of the drug is in possession and where the drug is sold. 

Minnesota Marijuana Penalties

Using marijuana: First offenses involving small amounts of marijuana usually mean no prison time or criminal record if the marijuana is for personal consumption.

These offenses are treated in a way similar to a minor traffic violation.

Possessing less than 42.5g of marijuana: This is a misdemeanor with a fine of $200 and possible required drug education.

Possessing more than 42.5g of marijuana: This is a felony. Penalties are increasingly large fines (depending on the amount of the drug) and significant jail time.

Possessing more than 1.4g in a motor vehicle (except in the trunk): This is a misdemeanor with a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in prison.

Distributing less than 42.5g without remuneration: This is a misdemeanor with a fine of $200 and possible required drug education.

Dealing any amount of marijuana: This is a felony with jail time and increasingly large fines for dealing any quantity of marijuana. Selling to a minor, selling in a school or park zone and bringing marijuana into the state have stiff penalties. 

Check for more details from NORML on Minnesota's marijuana penalties.

Marijuana and Driving

Minnesota has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of schedule I and II controlled substances. Marijuana is a schedule I drug but is excluded from the zero-tolerance policy; however, it's still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Driving with any detectable drug metabolite in the bloodstream can result in a fine up to $1,000, plus 90 days in jail and suspension of your license for 180 days for a first offense.

Fines, jail time and suspensions increase for subsequent offenses. Get more details on  Minnesota's drugged driving policy.

Medical Marijuana

In May 2014, legislators in Minnesota legalized medical marijuana use for people suffering from serious health issues. Qualifying conditions are amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer/cachexia, Crohn's disease, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, intractable pain, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, terminal illness and Tourette's syndrome.

Smoking marijuana is still illegal, even for medicinal purposes; instead, patients must take the drug by liquid, pill or vapor. Medicinal marijuana must be purchased from state dispensaries, and patients are allowed a 30-day supply.

Medical marijuana sales began in July 2015. As of June 2017, the state has two licensed manufacturers.