Delta 8 has surged in popularity and turned many heads in the cannabis world since its federal legalization in 2018. The compound’s relaxing effects and mild potency have made it a fan-favorite among cannabis users, especially in states where recreational cannabis remains illegal.
Even with widespread use and federal legalization, however, some states have taken the steps to heavily restrict or fully ban delta 8 within their own jurisdictions. But is this the case with the Land of 10,000 Lakes, or is delta 8 legal in Minnesota?
Is Delta 8 Legal in Minnesota?
Before jumping into Minnesota’s delta 8 legislation, let’s take a step back and review the Farm Bill of 2018, which legalized hemp at a federal level. Known as the Agriculture Improvement Act, the piece of legislation passed in 2018, effectively legalizing hemp and its derivatives, including compounds like delta 8, in all 50 states.
The most important thing the Farm Bill did for cannabis was obviously legalizing hemp, but it also created a distinction between hemp and marijuana. Although these two types of cannabis are strikingly similar in the scientific aspect, the Agriculture Improvement Act created a legal distinction between the two. Under federal law, hemp refers to cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, while marijuana refers to hemp plants containing more than 0.3% THC.
While the Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products, it did not legalize marijuana or marijuana-derived products. At the federal level, as well as in many states, marijuana remains a schedule I substance, making it strictly illegal. The Biden administration, however, recently released a statement expressing its desire to revisit the federal government’s stance on marijuana earlier this year. In the release, the administration mentioned pardoning all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession and urged states to do the same at their own levels. They also stated they are beginning the process to remove marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I Substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
Here's to hoping for a near future where all Americans have safe and equal access to cannabis everywhere! But for now, hemp-derived cannabinoids remain the only federally legal way for Americans to use cannabis recreationally.
Now that we have a little more background knowledge on the federal government’s stance on this whole thing, let’s focus our attention back to the Gopher State. Is delta 8 legal in Minnesota?
Fortunately, the North Star State agrees with the federal government’s stance on hemp and hemp products, making delta 8 legal to use, possess, sell, purchase, distribute, produce, and manufacture without the risk of penalty or prosecution under state law. Minnesota had established its own hemp pilot program following the passage of the Industrial Hemp Development Act in 2015, prior to the federal Farm Bill of 2018, meaning natural delta 8 in hemp plants was already legal in the state. In 2019, it was amended to coincide with the Farm Bill, making hemp-derived delta 8 containing no more than 0.3% THC legal under state law.
Shipping Delta 8 Products to & from Minnesota
Since hemp-derived delta 8 is currently legal in Minnesota, you can buy delta 8 products online or in person in the state without the risk of penalty of prosecution. Although buying hemp products in person is always an option, most people opt for online retailers for many reasons, ranging from transparency to variety.
Because hemp-derived delta 8 is currently legal in Minnesota, you can lawfully purchase delta 8 products online or in person all throughout the state. In many states with legal delta 8, consumers choose to shop online for a plethora of reasons.
A major advantage of online retailers is their transparency regarding where their products originate, so you can determine whether a product is safe without only judging its packaging. A number of online stores offer full ingredient lists as well as third-party lab tests that verify each product’s safety, purity, and potency. Ultimately, this means you can buzz without a fuzz knowing your products are safe and regulated.
Additionally, online retailers have a more reliable reputation. You can find countless reviews, testimonials, and other comments from consumers just like you by searching the web. Therefore, you can make an informed decision based on not only the quality of your product, but also the type of experience you will have with a particular retailer. Furthermore, many stores post information about how they manufacture their products, such as which type of hemp they use.
Last but not least, online stores offer many more products than brick-and-mortar stores. When you shop in a physical store, what you see is what you get. Online, you can browse through thousands of products until you find one that meets your needs, and all from the comfort of your own home!
Delta 8 in Minnesota
While delta 8 seems to have a friendly outlook on delta 8, it is not so keen on recreational marijuana, making delta 8 the only way for Minnesotans to use cannabis recreationally.
Minnesota statute lists marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, making it strictly illegal in the Gopher State. Possession of 42.5 grams or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200. While a condition discharge is possible for first time offenders, there is also a possible drug education course requirement. Possession of more than 42.5 grams but less than 10 kilograms is a felony and punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent convictions shall be committed to the commissioner of corrections for between six months to 10 years and a possible maximum fine of $20,000.
Penalties for possessing higher amounts include:
Amount of Marijuana
Type of Crime
Maximum Time Served
Possession of more than 11.4 grams inside a vehicle (except the trunk) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days of imprisonment and a maximum fine o $1,000. With heavy punishments for possession of marijuana, delta 8 and other hemp-derived cannabinoids seem to be the only way for residents of Minnesota to recreationally enjoy cannabis in a legal way.
Things to Consider When Buying Delta 8 in Minnesota
In order to ensure a positive and safe cannabinoid experience, it's important to consider a few things before buying delta 8. Delta 8 production is not regulated by the FDA, so companies must set their own standards for quality and safety. This makes it your responsibility to find a reputable and truthful cannabinoid retailer. When choosing a delta 8 source, consider these factors.
When it comes to delta 8 products—and honestly, any product that goes inside your body— it is crucial to understand what exactly they contain. When buying cannabinoids, always ask for lab tests. A third-party lab test provides an objective assessment of the potency, purity, and safety of your product. Some packaging may claim its product is safe and pure, but how can you know? Besides revealing a product's potency and purity, lab tests also reveal the vendor's level of commitment to your safety.
In addition, you should always avoid bleach. The delta 8 distillate will never be completely transparent, even if it is of high quality. The color ranges from light pink to amber, but it's never clear by nature. Many manufacturers bleach their products to make them appear "cleaner," but they are actually more dangerous. An oil or vape that looks completely clear is a sign you need to look for your product elsewhere.
Last but not least, choosing the right type of hemp for your product is also important. To be legal, delta 8 products must be made from hemp, but that's not all there is to it. Organic hemp grown right here in the USA is the best source of safe and high-quality delta 8 products. As a highly absorbent plant, hemp takes in nutrients and contaminants from its surroundings depending on its environment. Pesticides and other harmful chemicals should not be present in your hemp, because they can end up in your product.
Minnesota Cannabis Market Grows with Delta 8 & Medical Marijuana
Despite Minnesota’s severe penalties for recreational marijuana, medical cannabis use has been legal in the state since 2014. Without a doubt, almost a decade of safe and legal medical marijuana has meant great things for the North Star State’s cannabis economy. But what could the introduction of delta 8 mean for Minnesota’s medical marijuana market?
Minnesota Medical Cannabis Laws
The Minnesota Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act passed in 2014, creating a long-awaited patient registry program supplied by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This law allowed qualifying patients enrolled in the registry to possess and use cannabis for medical purposes. It also allowed for two manufacturers to be registered in the state, both of which must have one manufacturing facility and are permitted eight distributions sites throughout the state. These manufacturers may distribute medical cannabis in the forms of pills, liquids, topical products, water-soluble cannabinoid multi-particulates, orally dissolvable products, or infused edible products.
Under this law, qualifying conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Cancer (if illness or treatment causes severe chronic pain, nausea or vomiting, and/or cachexia or severe wasting)
- Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Chron’s disease
- Intractable pain
- Obstructive sleeping apnea
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Sickle cell disease
- Terminal illness with life expectancy of under one year (if illness or treatment causes severe chronic pain, nausea or vomiting, and/or cachexia or severe wasting)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Any other condition or treatment approved by the commissioner (subject to legislative overview)
When the law was passed in 2014, it did not include intractable pain, chronic pain, cancer, PTSD, autism, or sickle cell disease, but these conditions have since been added. Additionally, Minnesota lawmakers approved legalizing smokeable forms of cannabis for medical purposes in 2021.
So, how exactly do you get medical cannabis in the Gopher State?
The general design of the registry program is actually not that complicated. First, a patient gets diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition. Then, the patient receives a certification from the health care practitioner that diagnosed the condition, which the patient submits, along with an application fee, to the Minnesota Department of Health in order to enroll in the program. The application fee is $200 but is reduced to $50 for patients who receive Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Income, veterans’ disability, or railroad disability payments, or if they are enrolled in Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. Once accepted, the MDH issues a registry verification listing the patient’s information. It is issued to the patient, the patient’s health care practitioner, and the manufacturer as proof of the patient’s participation in the program.
After this, the health care practitioner must continue to treat the patient’s qualifying medical condition. Manufacturers are only allowed to distribute medical cannabis to a registered patient, and patients may only obtain medical cannabis from a registered manufacturer. Final approval for distribution must be made by a licensed pharmacist, and in some cases, a pharmacist consultation may take place. If a patient has a designated caregiver, parent, legal guardian, or spouse listed on the registry verification, that person may also obtain cannabis on the patient’s behalf.
The health care practitioner is required to submit the patient’s health records to the MDH, and the manufacturer is also required to submit a report to the same. The MDH is then required to conduct research on the information in the registry program and submit reports to legislative committees and medical journals.
So, to summarize, the steps a patient would take to get medical cannabis in Minnesota are:
- Get diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
- Send annual application and fee to MDH
- Get accepted and issued registry verification
- Continue treatment with health care practitioner
- Obtain medical cannabis!
Minnesota Medical Cannabis vs. Delta 8
While Minnesota’s medical cannabis legislation is certainly thorough and inclusive, many people who could benefit from medical cannabis don’t qualify for or can’t afford the program. This is where delta 8 comes into play.
Because delta 8 is just a milder analog of delta 9—the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that isn’t legal for recreational use in Minnesota—users of delta 8 can get strikingly similar properties and effects than they would get from medical cannabis. Delta 8 isn’t as strong as delta 9, meaning its effects won’t be as pronounced, but both compounds offer relaxation, pain relief, and comfort, making delta 8 a viable alternative for those who don’t qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program.
Where to Find Delta 8 in Minnesota
While delta 8 is legal throughout the entire state, its delta 8 hub is mainly located in and around Minneapolis, the state’s capital and largest city. Remember, it’s always best to buy delta 8 from online sources after adequate research and consideration, but if you’re not one to wait for shipping or simply want to get your products in person, here are a few stores to hit!
New Hope Smoke Shop – New Hope – 4.3 Stars
New Hope isn’t just the title of Episode IV of Star Wars, it’s also the name of a delta 8 store in a city by the same name! This smoke shop can be summed up in three statements: great prices, friendly staff, and great selection. Customers call this place a must-visit for delta 8 needs in the area.
Central Tobacco – Blaine – 4.8 Stars
While its name may seem unfit for cannabis users, Central Tobacco actually offers a range of cannabis products, including delta 8 and CBD. With longer hours than other smoke shops around the area, this is the place to be for night owls looking for a moonlight buzz.
E-Cig POD – Minnetonka – 4.8 Stars
With a great atmosphere, excellent customer service, kind and helpful staff, and a dedicated owner, E-Cig POD offers a wide variety of products to customers of all walks of life. According to the owner, all of their delta 8 is thoroughly tested by a third-party lab, and they “strive extremely hard to provide the highest quality delta 8 products.”
Are Other Psychoactive Cannabinoids Legal in Minnesota?
Fortunately, the state extends the same courtesy to all hemp-derived cannabinoids as it does to delta 8. This means that other cannabinoid compounds, such as delta 10, HHC, and THCO, are legal under state and federal law as long as they are made from hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC.
Is Delta 8 Legal in Minnesota: Final Thoughts
So, is delta 8 legal in Minnesota? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding yes! Along with many other hemp-derived cannabinoids, delta 8 is legal in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less.
While you can get delta 8 in local physical stores in the state, it’s always best to buy these products online for reasons of safety, transparency, and variety. Happy buzzing!