This week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a bill that legalizes recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older. The law goes into effect on August 1, 2023, and will permit adults to have up to two pounds of marijuana at home and two ounces while in public. The law also creates a new regulatory framework for licenses to cultivate, manufacture and sell cannabis at retail dispensaries. Until the regulations are drafted and licenses are issued, the sale of cannabis in Minnesota remains illegal without a license. Licensed retail dispensaries are expected to open within 12-18 months.
Under the law, non-felony cannabis offenses will be automatically expunged and a board will be established to review more serious crimes involving cannabis.
In the wake of the new law, the St. Paul, MN office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) issued an advisory warning that Minnesotans who use cannabis cannot legally own firearms. This is because cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
The ATF warning said, “Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition.”