Can Cannabis Growers Sell Their Excess Marijuana Without A License? Some Say Yes And Will Go To Court To Claim Their Right

Zinger Key Points
  • Minnesota residents are using a constitutional right from 1906 to argue for the freedom to sell home-grown cannabis without a license.
  • Patrick McClellan, a plaintiff, seeks to offset high cultivation costs by selling surplus cannabis.
  • Governor Tim Walz opposes unlicensed sales, emphasizing the need for regulated cannabis commerce to ensure public safety.

A recently filed lawsuit in Minnesota challenges the state’s restriction on unlicensed cannabis sales by home growers, citing a 120-year-old constitutional provision. The lawsuit, initiated by four residents, targets the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and argues that home cultivators should be allowed to sell their excess cannabis without a state license.

Invoking Constitutional Rights

The plaintiffs base their argument on Article 13, Section 7 of the Minnesota Constitution, which states, “Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor,” reported MinnPost. This provision, dating back to 1906, was initially aimed at protecting farmers’ rights to sell their produce without a permit. Notably, the plaintiffs argue that this should extend to cannabis, now that it is legal to grow and possess in Minnesota as of August 1, 2023.

The lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, names OCM interim director Charlene Briner and state Attorney General Keith Ellison. It seeks to overturn the state law requiring licenses for cannabis sales, arguing it contradicts the constitutional provision. One of the plaintiffs, Patrick McClellan, a medical cannabis patient with muscular dystrophy, emphasizes the financial burden of home cultivation and the need to offset costs by selling excess cannabis.

State’s Position On Selling Excess Home Harvest

Governor Tim Walz, who supported the cannabis policy reform, opposes the claim that home growers can sell cannabis without a license. He emphasized that the intention of the law was not to create a loophole for unregulated cannabis sales. The OCM and the Department of Health have not provided definitive guidance, recommending that questions related to criminal law be directed to county attorneys.

Read also: Negotiations Aim To Elevate Tribal Nations In Minnesota’s Cannabis Market

Regulatory Challenges And Market Implications

Minnesota’s legalization of recreational cannabis, including home cultivation, was finalized in May 2023. The law allows adults to possess up to two pounds of cannabis at home and grow up to eight plants, four of which can be mature. However, commercial sales are restricted to licensed entities, with licenses expected to be issued by next spring.

Discover how pivotal legal cases like the Minnesota home growers’ lawsuit could shape the cannabis industry. Join the conversation at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference this October in Chicago. Hear directly from key industry players, experts, advocates, and policymakers. Get your tickets now by following this link.

The lawsuit’s outcome could significantly impact Minnesota’s cannabis market. If the court sides with the plaintiffs, it may set a precedent allowing unlicensed sales of home-grown cannabis, potentially disrupting the state’s regulatory framework. Legalization advocates argue that cannabis should be treated like any other farm product, while state officials stress the importance of regulation due to its intoxicating nature.

Read also: Minnesota Regulators Crack Down On Sale Of Cannabis Flower Being Sold As Hemp, Violators Face $1M Fines – Benzinga

As Minnesota navigates this legal challenge, the outcome could set significant precedents for cannabis regulation and growers’ rights across the nation.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationshome cannabis cultivationMinnesota cannabisOffice of Cannabis ManagementTim Walz
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!

The Top Cannabis Event In New Jersey

Join the Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight in New Jersey on June 17th! Grow your business, raise money and capitalize on the booming NJ recreational market. Don’t miss this must-attend event in New Brunswick. Secure your tickets now. Very few spots are left. Use the code "JAVIER20" for 20% off!