While the legalization of recreational marijuana in Minnesota has yet to reach ballots, the state took a step in the right direction 2014 when it became the 22nd state to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana. Current laws permit card-carrying residents to legally purchase cannabis as part of their medical treatment.

However, the law does not come without its fair share of restrictions, many of which have created major concern among cannabis activists. While patients are allowed to purchase cannabis in pill, vapor, and oil from, the law strictly states that the smoking cannabis is not permitted.

Medical marijuana laws in Minnesota also run the risk of negative consequences occurring for patients. The law states that patients receiving medicinal cannabis as part of their treatment are at risk of receiving 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine for making any false statements regarding possessing cannabis in plant form.

While the state currently holds no limits on the number of patients able to apply for medical marijuana cards, there are limitations on the number of dispensaries allowed within the state. Currently, only eight dispensaries and two manufacturing facilities are permitted to run in Minnesota and service the nearly 5,000 card-carrying patients.

Cannabis activists have shown concern that current laws do not create the atmosphere for a viable cannabis business model. There is also concern that the current list of qualifying conditions is one of the shortest in the country, with only nine conditions in total.

With public pressure to loosen the restrictions on medical marijuana, it is likely that the state will see some changes regarding cannabis laws in the near future. Until then it is important to stay informed on all cannabis laws in Minnesota in order to avoid federal action while purchasing or consuming cannabis.