Weeks ago Minnesota legalized cannabis for adult use, and at the same time, set the home limit at 32 ounces or 2 pounds.
Out of the 23 states that have legalized cannabis for adult use, the limit for personal amounts at home ranges from 1-10 ounces—with the exception of one state, Minnesota, where the personal limit for cannabis is 32 ounces or 2 pounds. But given the state’s four-plant limit for growing at home, some people say even 2 pounds is not enough.
Minnesota allows adults to have up to 2 pounds of cannabis at home, no grower’s license needed, but once they leave home, they will only be allowed to carry 2 ounces of cannabis in public.
Some states—including California, Washington, and Nevada—allow one ounce of cannabis at home. Colorado sets the limit at 2 ounces. Michigan, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts allow much more at 10 ounces.
“The vast majority of adult use states that allow home cultivation don’t have any explicit limit,” says NORML Political Director Morgan Fox. “And most of them explicitly say that you can keep whatever you grow in your own home. There are four states aside from Minnesota that actually have set limits. Massachusetts has 10 ounces, Michigan has 10 ounces, Oregon is eight ounces and New York is 5 pounds.”
“If you’re gonna put a limit on it, I think it’s a good idea to have it towards the higher end of the spectrum and possible so that you can avoid potentially criminalizing people that are growing their own medicine or growing cannabis for their own purposes, but who are trying not to transfer to anybody else, you know, they’re not trying to gift it out, and certainly don’t want to be selling it.”
Fox continued, “But they also don’t want to be arrested, if they happen to be a little bit over the limit based on whatever their their harvest is. And in a lot of these states, you know, once you get over whatever the the adult use, possession limit is whether it’s, you know, out on the street or at home. In some cases, you’re getting back into pre prohibition, criminal penalties, and in some cases, like felonies if you’re talking about pounds. So, you know, I think it’s a really good idea to have that possession limit be or the the home production possession limit be as high as possible if you’re going to limit it at all just to avoid re-criminalizing people that are cultivating cannabis at home.”
Lawmakers in Minnesota said they set high limits to simplify the program, allowing for the same limit to grow and possess.
Sen. Lindsey Port led the State Senate’s version of the adult-use cannabis bill, and supports the state’s personal limit. “We wanted to decriminalize as much as possible, but we also wanted to make sure that we had an ability to control the illicit market,” Port told CBS News affiliate WCCO News. “We wanted to make sure you were allowed to possess the amount that you could grow.”
“We’ve looked at other states and what we’ve learned is it’s not so much how much you can possess that really allowed the illicit market to continue,” Port said.
Is the Limit High Enough?
Local business owners in the area, however, said that they predict 99% of consumers in the state aren’t going to have a need for 2 pounds of cannabis at home, and if they do, they will probably sell it illegally.
Despite having the higher limit, industry insiders say it’s not enough for the state’s four-plant home grow limit.
The Minnesota Hemp Growers Cooperative wrote in a letter to the committee that the state’s cannabis law allows individuals to have up to four mature cannabis plants at one time, which can yield potentially more pot than the individual possession limit of 2 pounds.
“With proper cultivating techniques, you could harvest well over 6 pounds of material from four plants,” wrote Shawn Weber, president of the Minnesota Hemp Growers Cooperative. “On what planet does this make any sense?”
Paving the Way for the Adult-Use Market in Minnesota
On May 30, Gov. Tim Walz signed Minnesota’s adult-use cannabis bill into law, officially making Minnesota the 23rd state in the nation to legalize recreational cannabis.
At the signing ceremony, Walz recognized that prohibition does not work, and said that he and fellow lawmakers are looking to start the expungement process for qualifying Minnesotans. Walz also indicated that adults should be able to make their own decisions “around these types of choices.”
Additionally, the bill legalizes possession of up to two pounds of cannabis in a private residence and limited home cultivation by adults over 21. Out in public, Minnesota adults are allowed up to two ounces. The legislation allows adults to grow up to eight cannabis plants at home, including four mature, flowering plants.
Possession for adults 21 and older will officially be legal in the state starting Aug. 1.