Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an adult-use cannabis legalization bill into law on Tuesday.

Becoming the 23rd state to allow adult use, Minnesota has joined Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont in legalizing cannabis through the legislature, rather than by ballot measure. 

Adults 21 and over can use and possess certain amounts of cannabis starting Aug. 1, but adult-use cannabis sales aren’t expected to begin in Minnesota until early 2025.

“We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked,” Walz said. “By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe. Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”

The legislation outlines the creation of Minnesota’s Office of Cannabis Management, which will take over administration of the state’s medical program from the Department of Health, alongside managing its adult-use operations. The legislation also allows for licensing of cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, microbusinesses and “mezzobusinesses,” which can cultivate up to 15,000 sq. ft. of plant canopy indoors and up to an acre of flowering plants outdoors.

Cannabis edibles are allowed under the law, but they can’t take the form of a lollipop or ice cream; look like fruit, animals or real or fictional people; or be meat, dairy or poultry products. Serving sizes are capped at 10 mg THC, while non-beverage packages can’t contain more than 200 mg THC. Beverages can’t have more than 20 mg THC per container.

The legislation also distinguishes “lower-potency hemp edibles,” which includes beverages and food that contain no more than 5 mg of hemp-derived delta-9-THC, 25 mg CBD, 25 mg CBG, or 0.5 mg of other cannabinoids. These provisions were likely designed to support Minnesota’s robust hemp beverage market, which flourished after the state legalized food and beverages with 5 mg hemp-derived THC last year.

Alongside regulating the state’s cannabis programs, the law also provides for the expungement of lower-level cannabis offenses.

“Legalizing adult-use cannabis is about keeping our communities safe, advancing justice for Minnesotans, and investing in a strong economic future,” said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked and has disproportionately harmed communities of color across the state. By expunging nonviolent cannabis convictions, we are removing the barriers that prevent thousands of Minnesotans from fully returning to work, to their communities, and to their lives. This is how we make safer communities.”