by Dennis Dalman
Recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 and older will be legal in Minnesota starting Aug. 1 after the state legislature approved a “cannabis” bill recently, which was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz.
“Cannabis” is another word for marijuana.
Although it will soon be legal for adults, the 319-page legalization bill spells out all kinds of restrictions that cannabis users must become aware of to remain on the right side of the law.
First of all, the following are allowed under the new law:
As of Aug. 1, adults who are at least 21 years old can possess and transport marijuana paraphernalia, possess and transport in a public place two ounces or less of cannabis flower (green leafy marijuana).
Adult users can possess up to two pounds of cannabis flower at their private residences, possess or transport eight grams or less of cannabis concentrate, such as extracts. Adults can also possess or transport edible cannabis products or lower-potency hemp edibles infused with a combined total of 800 milligrams or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC).
An adult 21 years old or older is allowed to give to another adult (who is at least 21) cannabis in the same quantities listed in the paragraphs above.
Adults can use cannabis licensed for on-site consumption of those products. They may use cannabis products in a private residence or private yard unless the owner of the residence or yard prohibits any cannabis use on that property.
As for growing marijuana plants at home, adults 21 and over can do so but only up to eight plants in their place of residence and with no more than four of the plants at their full-maturity growth. Any plants in excess of just eight can cause a fine of up to $500 per each plant above that limit of eight. Any amount of plants exceeding 23 can result in a felony charge.
It will be illegal for adults to possess cannabis exceeding the amounts listed above. Penalties can range from a petty-misdemeanor charge all the way to a felony charge, depending on how far the possession limits are exceeded.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to give or sell cannabis products to any other person under 21. Furthermore, selling those products without a retail or wholesale license will be illegal. The sale of marijuana and its derivative products may be sold legally only by licensed retailers. Anyone else doing so can be charged with crimes ranging up to a felony, depending on the amount sold.
It is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle, boat or airplane while under the influence of cannabis. Those under the influence cannot legally carry a gun on their person in public and cannot hunt wild game if under the influence.
There are also tight strictures on using marijuana and cannabis products. For example, it cannot be used in a vehicle while on a street or a highway.
It will be a misdemeanor to possess a cannabis product if it is in a package or other container that does not comply with state law. It cannot be removed from the package in which it was sold and placed in another sort of package or container.
Cannabis products can be stored in the trunk of a vehicle or in areas not occupied by passengers if the vehicle does not have a trunk.
It will be legal for cannabis possession and use in a commercial bus or limousine.