Minnesota Cannabis License Guidelines

Minnesota Department of Health

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Minnesota Department of Health oversees the regulation and policies for the Medical Cannabis Industry of the state.  A link to their website can be found here

Medical cannabis is available at 13 Medical Cannabis Dispensaries across Minnesota.

Patients in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program must have their qualifying condition(s) re-certified by their health care practitioners on an annual basis. Once recertified, the patient must submit a re-enrollment application and approved by the Office of Medical Cannabis.

Your health care practitioner must certify that you have one of the qualifying conditions prior to enrolling in the program. You must also be a Minnesota resident.

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (must meet DSM-5)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder

Minnesota Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Minnesota medical cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

What is the status of legalized adult use of cannabis in Minnesota? I thought it passed.

No, a bill that would have legalized the adult use of cannabis, House File 600 or HF600, passed the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2021, but not the Minnesota Senate. It would need to pass both the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor in order to become law.

How can my company become a medical cannabis manufacturer?

Current law limits the medical cannabis program to two medical cannabis manufacturers. The Minnesota Department of Health has registered two medical cannabis manufacturers: Vireo Health of Minnesota and Leafline Labs. Minnesota law does not allow registration of additional medical cannabis manufacturers.

Can I use medical cannabis if I have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

CDL drivers are subject to extensive state and federal regulation, including federal Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing. DOT drug and alcohol testing rules apply to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce. A DOT regulation (49 CFR 383) requires DOT agencies to implement drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. Medical cannabis, even if legal under state law, is an illegal drug under federal law. The DOT says enrollment in a state medical cannabis program is not a valid medical explanation if a transportation employee tests positive for any prohibited drug. Therefore, federal law prohibits the use of medical cannabis by CDL-covered individuals.

Will enrolling in the Medical Cannabis Program and/or using medical cannabis interfere with my right to purchase or own a firearm?

Cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Federal law prohibits anyone who uses an “unlawful” substance, including medical cannabis, from purchasing a firearm. In 2011, the federal U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Division (ATFE) stated medical cannabis users were not entitled to exercise their right to bear arms because of the federal government’s prohibition of cannabis. Citing cannabis’ status as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, the agency said: “[T]here are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law.”

Minnesota Cannabis License Types

Cultivation/Processing

Current law limits the medical cannabis program to two medical cannabis manufacturers. The Minnesota Department of Health has registered two medical cannabis manufacturers: Vireo Health of Minnesota and Leafline Labs. Minnesota’s medical cannabis manufacturers are required to grow, process, and distribute medical cannabis to program participants. Minnesota law does not allow registration of additional medical cannabis manufacturers.

Transportation

Transportation is under the license of the Cultivation/Processing businesses of Vireo Health of Minnesota and Leafline Labs.

Testing

State law requires that medical cannabis be tested for content, contaminants, and consistency by third-party, commissioner-approved laboratories. Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program maintains an open application process for independent testing laboratories. Interested laboratories must complete an application and undergo a site visit prior to consideration for approval. Get more information at Medical Cannabis Laboratory Application Process and Forms.

Dispensary

Currently Minnesota boasts 14 dispensary locations with no other licenses being offered at this time.

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