Minnesota Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Minnesota, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.02.)

 While not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Minnesota. For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Minnesota, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Minnesota.

Marijuana Possession

It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana in Minnesota. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, measured as the total amount possessed within a 90 day period before the date of arrest.

Up to ten kilograms

 Excluding “small amounts for personal use,” a person who possesses up to ten kilograms of marijuana is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree. If convicted, the defendant will face a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both. Subsequent violations of this type are punishable with between six months in jail and ten years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.092.)

Between ten and 50 kilograms

 A violation is a controlled substance crime in the third degree, punishable with a fine of up to $250,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $250,000, between two and 30 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.023.)

Between 50 and 100 kilograms

 A violation is a controlled substance crime in the second degree, punishable with a fine of up to $500,000, up to 25 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $500,000, between three and 40 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.022.)

100 kilograms or more

A violation is a controlled substance crime in the second degree, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $1,000,000, between four and 40 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.021.)

Possession with intent to sell within a school zone

It is a controlled substance crime in the fourth degree to possess marijuana with the intent to sell it in a school zone, park zone, public housing zone, or drug treatment facility. Penalties include a fine of up to $100,000, up to 15 years in prison, or both. Subsequent convictions are punishable with a fine of up to $100,000, and between one and 30 years in prison. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.024.)

Sales

It is illegal to distribute marijuana (or possess marijuana with the intent to do so) in Minnesota. Penalties vary according to the amount sold or possessed for sale, with additional penalties for sales to a minor or near a school zone. Amounts sold are measured as the total amount sold within a 90 day period before the date of arrest.

Up to five kilograms

Excluding “a small amount of marijuana for no remuneration,” a person who sells up to ten kilograms of marijuana is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree. The defendant will face a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both. Subsequent violations of this type are punishable with between six months in jail and ten years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.025.)

Up to five kilograms in a school zone

Selling any amount up to five kilograms of marijuana in a school zone, park zone, public housing zone, or drug treatment facility is a controlled substance crime in the fourth degree. Penalties include a fine of up to $100,000, up to 15 years in prison, or both. Subsequent convictions are punishable with a fine of up to $100,000, and between one and 30 years in prison. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.024.)

Between five and 25 kilograms

Selling between five and 25 kilograms of marijuana is a controlled substance crime in the third degree, punishable with a fine of up to $250,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $250,000, between two and 30 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.023.)  

Between 25 and 50 kilograms (or between five and 25 kilograms in a school zone)

 A violation is a controlled substance crime in the second degree, punishable with a fine of up to $500,000, up to 25 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $500,000, between three and 40 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.022.)

50 kilograms or more (or 25 kilograms or more in a school zone)

A violation is a controlled substance crime in the second degree, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $1,000,000, between four and 40 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.021.)

Sale to a minor or employing a minor to sell marijuana

Selling any amount of marijuana to a minor, or hiring a minor to sell marijuana, is a controlled substance crime in the third degree. Punishment includes a fine of up to $250,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction of this type increases the penalties to a fine of up to $250,000, between two and 30 years in prison, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.023.)

Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal in Minnesota to possess, use, manufacture, advertise, or sell drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties vary according to the violation.

Possession or use

Someone who knowingly possesses or uses paraphernalia is guilty of a petty misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $300. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.092.)

Manufacture, sale, and advertisement

Selling paraphernalia (or manufacturing or possessing paraphernalia with the intent to sell it) is a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 152.093 &152.095.)

Sale to a minor

It is a gross misdemeanor for an adult to sell paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than the adult. If convicted, the adult will face a fine of up $3,000. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 152.094.)

Does Minnesota Impose a Stamp Tax on Marijuana?

Yes. A stamp tax is a tax imposed on certain types of transactions (such as the transfer of property) that requires a stamp to be purchased and attached either to the item sold or to an instrument documenting the transaction (such as a deed). The federal government imposes stamp taxes on deeds, the issue and transfer of stocks and bonds, and on playing cards.

In Minnesota, those who buy, transport, or import marijuana into Minnesota are required to pay a stamp tax and place the stamp (proof of payment) onto the contraband. However, because the possession of marijuana is illegal, people typically don’t pay the stamp tax. When you are convicted for possession, you will also be liable for payment of the unpaid taxes ($3.50 for each gram or portion of a gram). (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 297D.04.)

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

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