The Blurred Lines of Medical Marijuana

It is legal for individuals in Minnesota and 28 other states to consume cannabis products for medical reasons. However, because the drug is not legal under federal law, it is not legal for individuals to transport marijuana or cannabinoid products across state lines.

Medical Marijuana in Minnesota

Individuals are allowed to possess a 30-day supply of non-smokable cannabinoid products. These products must be purchased at one of the eight state-licensed dispensaries. Individuals desiring to use medical marijuana in Minnesota must have a terminal illness, HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, seizures, Tourette’s Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or persistent intractable pain.

Currently, there are 1520 people in the state who have applied for and received permission to use cannabinoid products in the care and management of these conditions. While bills are being considered to allow for the expansion of the medical marijuana program and for the use of recreational marijuana, these bills are still being debated so it may be some time before the state makes any further changes to the law.

Registering for Medical Marijuana

The process requires a health care practitioner to certify that the individual meets the state guidelines for the prescription of medical marijuana. Once a physician certifies that the individual meets the guidelines, they issue a certification that lasts for 90 days. During this time, individuals may enroll in the state’ medical marijuana program and pay the annual fee which is $200. For individuals receiving Medicaid, MNCare, ChampVA, or SSI, the fee is reduced to $50.

Using Marijuana Not Purchased at a Cannabis Patient Center

Individuals enrolled in the Minnesota medical marijuana program are not allowed to purchase or consume cannabinoid products such as wax that are not purchased from cannabis patient centers. This means that it’s not legal for individuals to travel to Colorado or other states and then transport cannabis products purchased in those states back to Minnesota.

Under federal law, marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 narcotic. Under federal sentencing guidelines, individuals who transport less than 50 kg of cultivated marijuana or 1-49 marijuana plants across state lines can be subject to a five-year prison sentence and fines that can exceed $250,000.

Thus, individuals who are enrolled in the medical marijuana program should contact a drug lawyer in Minneapolis prior to traveling to learn more about the law and should plan to leave all cannabinoid products and accessories at home when traveling. Failing to do so can have serious consequences that can include revocation of the medical marijuana permit.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.