Minnesota marijuana users can exhale without worry — weed is legal to use, possess and grow in the North Star State as of today.

But since no one has been licensed to sell recreational marijuana in the state, it's still illegal to sell. Until dispensaries open their doors, likely in early 2025, Minnesotans will have to get their marijuana the old-fashioned way or grow it themselves.

The exception is tribal reservations, which can craft their own cannabis policies. The Red Lake Nation will open up cannabis sales at its medical marijuana dispensary in northern Minnesota today, serving anyone 21 and older. The White Earth Nation created its own recreational marijuana program last week and plans to open its medical cannabis dispensary this month.

For the rest of the state, several things still have to happen before grow operations and retailers open:

As a result of decriminalizing marijuana without offering an immediate legal marketplace, the black market will continue supplying many users. That could make it more difficult to persuade consumers to shift to the legal market once it comes online over the next year or two, industry experts in other states have warned.

Low-potency hemp-derived edibles and drinks — now available at many liquor stores — are expected to help fill the gap for some users. The medical marijuana program remains unchanged.

Here's what became legal on Aug. 1

  • Adults 21 and older can legally possess and publicly transport up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates and edible cannabis products containing up to 800 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. They can also possess up to 2 pounds of marijuana in their homes. It is a petty misdemeanor for those under 21 to possess marijuana.
  • Minnesotans can now grow up to eight marijuana plants per residence, though only four of them can be mature and flowering at the same time. Plants may be grown indoors or outdoors, but they must be kept in an enclosed, locked space out of public view.
  • Any retailer can sell cannabis seeds, but they must be properly labeled by a business licensed by the state Department of Agriculture. Companies selling cannabis seeds to home growers should test them like they do any other seed, the department says.
  • It is legal to consume marijuana at home, on private property with permission and outdoors in public where it is not expressly prohibited. Several cities are looking at banning cannabis smoking where tobacco smoke is banned, such as parks and other public places.
  • It is legal to give cannabis as a gift to someone 21 and older. But it is not legal to give a free bag of pot alongside the purchase of, say, a $50 T-shirt. That strategy has been employed in Washington, D.C., which has decriminalized marijuana but does not have a regulatory system set up for adult-use sales.

Here's what is not legal

Selling marijuana without a license is a crime ranging from a petty misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the amount.

It is also a federal crime to transport marijuana across state borders. The U.S. Department of Transportation does not consider tribal reservation borders to be state borders.

Additionally, federal law prohibits marijuana users from owning firearms, even if the drug is legal in their state. Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug federally — a category that also includes heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits users of a controlled substance from "shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition," according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

But for those following state laws, federal authorities have been largely hands-off on marijuana enforcement except to knock down large trafficking operations.

And while the state now bans random and pre-employment marijuana testing for many jobs, that exemption does not apply to truck drivers, police officers, firefighters, medical caregivers, educators and other "safety-sensitive" positions. Minnesotans in those professions could put their employment at risk by using marijuana.

Where you cannot use marijuana

  • Vehicles.
  • Public and charter schools.
  • State correctional facilities.
  • Anywhere smoking is prohibited by the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act.
  • Anywhere that smoke or vapor could be inhaled by minors.
  • Federal lands such as Minnesota's national forests, Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Starting in March 2025, Minnesota's marijuana law will ban cannabis smoking and vaping in multifamily housing building units, including on apartment balconies and patios, except for registered medical cannabis patients. Until then, the law lets property managers decide whether to allow or prohibit smoking in units.

Expungement starting

The process to expunge past marijuana convictions also kicks off today. Here's what to know about that process:

  • The state will automatically expunge misdemeanor marijuana convictions from Minnesotans' records. But the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has said it could take up to a year to clear all the records.
  • More than 60,000 misdemeanor marijuana cases will be eligible for automatic expungement, the BCA has estimated. That includes cases that defendants won or had dismissed, wiping out all records from arrest to sentencing.
  • Minnesota will set up a Cannabis Expungement Board to review felony marijuana offenses for possible expungement or re-sentencing on a case-by-case basis. That process is expected to take several years.