The Full Legalization Act: Model Legislation for Legalizing Marijuana in Minnesota

by | Apr 20, 2019 | News

Two years ago, our campaign consulted the best minds in the country on the policies, practices, and racial equity investments needed for Minnesota to create a new cannabis economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy white few individuals.

The Full Legalization Act (FLA) is a direct result of those conversations. If signed into law by the Governor, the FLA would end the prohibition of marijuana in Minnesota by ensuring racial equity and economic justice in all aspects of the cannabis labor market.

Here’s what we need to do:

Criminal Justice 

  • Vacate and dismiss all Minnesota marijuana convictions, charges, and arrest records 
  • Release all inmates from state penitentiaries and county jails incarcerated for marijuana 

Possession Limits 

  • Purchase: Up to 8 oz flower material; up to 2 oz Cannabis concentrate 
  • Primary Residence: Up to 24 oz; Can possess/manufacture/purchase Cannabis accessories 

Restrictions on Use 

  • 21 to possess, 21 to purchase 
  • Under 18: violation includes educational workshop with no criminalization 
  • > 24 oz requires establishment license; civil penalty for violations 

Home Cultivation

  • Up to 24 plants for personal use without a license, up to 12 flowering 
  • Commercial license required for more than 24 plants 

Office for Minority Cannabis Business Development

  • Established to ensure fair and equitable representation of BIPOC 

Establishments: Fees & Licensing 

  • Initial application $500, annual renewal required 
  • 2-year MN residency requirement (or domiciled 24 months within past 7 years) 
  • Impact zones, minority-owned, and micro-business applicants given preference 

Establishments: Applications 

  • Approved or denied within 45 days, limited cultivation, no limit to retail establishments 

Establishments: Ownership Requirements and Restrictions 

  • Must be formed in state 
  • Entity License Limits: Cultivator 1; Processor 1; Retailer 5 (2/city); Analytical 1 
  • Min. 60% owners, partners, LLC members must meet residency requirements 
  • Prior marijuana convictions no bar to ownership or entry into labor market

Establishments: Operational Requirements and Restrictions 

  • 21+ to work/volunteer; Cannabis handler permits required w/education requirements 
  • Consumer ID required = Government issued ID; Products must not appeal to children 
  • Doses < 15 mg THC/serving • Advertising/zoning restrictions (500 ft); Hours: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m. 

Establishments: Inspections 

  • Annual premises, facilities, personnel qualifications, operational methods, business/financial records, inventory tracking system, etc. 

Local Control 

  • No city/town ban of establishments (zoning regulations amended w/in 6 months) 
  • No banning cultivation inside secure private residence/accessory structure 
  • Cannabis lounge establishments allowed for social use subject to age, visibility, and no sale of tobacco/alcohol restrictions 


  • Cultivators/Processors must submit samples to third party testing facilities 
  • Potency of cannabinoids/terpenes, microbial and heavy metal testing 
  • Packaging must indicate it contains Cannabis, ID producer/cultivator, amount of THC/CBD per serving, number of servings, list of ingredients/allergens, etc. 
  • Child-resistant package, no single-use plastic packaging 

Driving Conduct: 

  • DUID remains on the books

Exemption from Penalty Provided by Law 

  • Remove Cannabis from Minnesota’s Controlled Substances Act Drug Schedule 
  • No longer allowed to establish probable cause 
  • Civil asset forfeiture disallowed 

Consumer Protections 

  • Employer may not discriminate/penalize based on positive drug test unless used, possessed, or impaired by Cannabis on employment premises or during work hours 
  • Landlords can only prohibit smoking Cannabis if they already prohibit tobacco smoking 
  • No denial of custody/visitation of minor children solely for person’s use of Cannabis; No presumption of neglect unless behavior creates unreasonable danger 


  • 15% cultivation tax on wholesale; 10% retail sales tax; cities may impose up to 3% tax on gross revenues; 280E disallowed, allowed to deduct operating expenses for state income taxes 

Funds Created 

  • Drug War Reparations Fund, Responsible Substance Use Education and Chemical Dependency Recovery Fund, 21st Century Policing Fund, education and infrastructure 


  • U of M Plant & Microbial Biology, Applied Plant Sciences, Medicine Research, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics departments funded annually 
  • MDH funded to study health effects; Department of Revenue directed to study viability of a state bank for the legal adult personal use Cannabis industry in Minnesota

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