Marijuana Regulator Roundup: Updates from Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota
We’re back again to take a look at how cannabis-related laws and changes are sweeping across the nation. There has been some movement in recent months since our last update due to concerns over a marijuana supply shortage and the impact of tax revenues on state coffers. This time let’s go a little north and look at some of the states near the Canadian border.
At MSN Packaging Inc., we always want to provide you, our valued clients, with the most up-to-date information on state-compliant packaging as it relates to cannabis products. Here is our latest news regarding Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
The use of medical marijuana was legalized across the great state of Minnesota in 2014. This isn’t too surprising as most states, regardless of political leanings, have recognized that a prescription for cannabis goes a long way to ensuring higher patient quality of health.
It took an additional 7 years before the Minnesota state legislature allowed recreational, low-dose, hemp-derived cannabis edibles to be legal for adult use. This was primarily through a push of democrats to increase personal freedoms and after a lengthy debate over how funds gained through these child-resistant packaging sales would be best allocated by republicans.
There are a lot of restrictions on who qualifies for the use of medical marijuana in Minnesota. You have to have been certified under specific health conditions like Alzheimer’s, Glaucoma, HIV, and a bunch of other severe maladies. Even the cannabis products that become legal are limited. They can only have a total maximum strength of 5mg THC per serving. This was because the legislature was trying to address Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC at the same time.
Of course, all this effort hasn’t stopped the movement of recreational marijuana. Right now, there is a bill called HF100 sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) that would appropriate $73.38 million for 2024-25 to establish a statewide structure for managing cannabis sales. This bill passed the House in a 71-59 vote, with only two Republicans breaking ranks. Whether or not it will be signed into law by the governor is yet to be determined.
Living in South Dakota is an interesting experience. The primary draw of this vast open state is the mountain sculpture Mount Rushmore created by Gutzon Borglum and featuring past American Presidents. Other than that, it’s open fields, state fairs, and all the bison chili you can eat.
As for marijuana, you’re going to have to have a medical prescription to enjoy the high you want. You must have a doctor’s approval and are limited to 3 ounces or less of weed for any 14-day period. However, if you qualify under specific circumstances, you are able to grow up to four cannabis plants for your medical use. The right to use medical marijuana appeared in the legislature on November 3, 2020 – so pretty recently. It passed with a 70% approval rate, so there is a lot of hope to legalize it in the future.
In 2022, voters were given the option to add a new bill for consideration of legalizing recreational cannabis use, but that was shot down. If you live in this vast open land, you will have to wait a bit for recreational use.
However, the 2018 federal Farm Bill did legalize the cultivation of hemp. There are two cannabinoids in hemp (Delta-8/Delta-10 THC) that are present in tiny amounts, so again, we expect changes soon as South Dakota has a lot of farmland.
This has allowed retailers to sell chemicals in gummies, edibles, oils, and vapes as smokeable hemp, but it is more of a loophole than a full-on legal pathway to quality marijuana products. There really isn’t much more to say about this specific state. There is a lot of anti-cannabis movement in the voting population and state house, so this may be an uphill battle.
Rounding out our three-state update is North Dakota. Surprisingly, this state gets a lot of tourism because of the 70,000-acre Badlands national park, where you can still see Bison happily roaming the plains and rolling mountains daily.
As you imagine, much like its southern cousin, North Dakota has yet to legalize recreational marijuana. In 2016, the North Dakota Compassion Act was passed, making it legal for people to grow their cannabis for up to 3 ounces of herbal use based on medical needs. This actually makes North Dakota a bit more progressive than South Dakota – at least by timing.
However, if you are looking for non-medical, recreational use, you're out of luck. That is currently wholly illegal, and you will be subject to fines, jail time, and possible felony charges if you have too much. You can cultivate hemp with 0.3% or less of THC without worry, which is a step in the right direction.
The good news is that it takes very little to get a North Dakota Medical Marijuana Card. You just need to visit a state-approved physician and describe symptoms that are similar to chronic pain, stress, anxiety, or the list of typical disorders most of us know cannabis in state-compliant packaging is perfect for managing. There has been movement in bills moving through the legislature to legalize recreational use, but they keep getting shot down by both representatives and the voting public.
Packaging Requirements of These States
Each of these three states makes recreational marijuana illegal. There is no cannabis packaging regulation because everything that is sold is through medical marijuana suppliers only. In the case of low-dose CBD and approved hemp products, they all follow strict child-resistant packaging that does not allow any overly bright marketing or confusing images that a young person could mistake for candy.
We are hopeful this will all change soon. Even though these states are in high populations of red territories, the movement for legalizing cannabis is growing each day, and the pressure on state legislatures to bend is only becoming more critical. This is due in large part to the financial benefits other states who have legalized marijuana are enjoying.
If you want to stay on top of the latest developments concerning state laws, new legislation, news, and state-compliant packaging, be sure to follow our page linking every state’s updates. This is an exciting time to live in, where innovation and research are unlocking all kinds of fascinating possibilities concerning medical, recreational, and other growth opportunities in the cannabis industry.
At MSN Packaging Inc., we proudly offer state-compliant packaging services and products to all our clients across the United States and beyond. We look forward to having the solutions you need for upcoming law changes and running your dispensary, cultivation business, or retail establishment so you can profit without worrying about state-compliant packaging regulations. So give us a call or schedule a consultation so we can get the best-fit packaging for your business!
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