What Happens to Marijuana-related Criminal Records Now That it Is Legal in Minnesota
As of August 1, 2021, in the state of Minnesota, certain marijuana-related offenses are no longer considered illegal under state law. The passage and implementation of The Adult-Use Cannabis Act have resulted in changes to how marijuana-related criminal records are handled.
Under the new laws, individuals with prior convictions for certain marijuana offenses may be eligible for relief or expungement. The specific criteria and process for record relief or expungement can vary depending on the circumstances and the type of offense.
Expungement refers to the legal process of sealing or erasing criminal records, effectively making them inaccessible to the public. It can vary from sealing the records from public view to completely erasing them. Expungement can help individuals with prior marijuana convictions overcome the barriers that such records may pose when it comes to employment, housing, education, and other opportunities.
What is The Adult-Use Cannabis Act?
After years of advocacy and over 30 committee hearings, Minnesota made history on May 30, 2023, by becoming the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana. If you want to learn more about the recent changes in marijuana law, an experienced criminal law firm can help you.
The Adult-Use Cannabis Act was signed into law by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on May 30 and went into effect on August 1. The law allows for the possession of recreational marijuana for people 21 and older.
While the new law allows for legal marijuana sales moving forward, what happens to the many Minnesotan citizens who have marijuana-related criminal records?
Let’s take a closer look at the Adult-Use Cannabis Act and what it does to help those with marijuana-related criminal records.
Qualifying for Marijuana-Related Crime Expungement
Under Minnesota’s new marijuana law, as of the publication of this blog, certain criminal records related to crimes involving marijuana were automatically expunged when the Adult-Use Cannabis Act became law on August 1.
However, not all marijuana-related criminal records will automatically qualify for expungement under the new law. According to the Adult-Use Cannabis Act, a Cannabis Expungement Board will be put in place to review felony-level marijuana-related criminal records to determine expungement eligibility.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, nearly 66,000 marijuana-related criminal records qualify for automatic expungement. In addition, 230,000 past offenders can submit their criminal records to the newly appointed Cannabis Expungement Board.
The Future of Marijuana Law in Minnesota
The state of Minnesota is not stopping its progress on marijuana legislation with The Adult-Use Cannabis Act. On May 17, Governor Walz signed into law The Clean Slate Act.
The Clean Slate Act, which goes into effect on January 1, 2025, will give the BCA authority to seal the records of any case that qualifies for expungement.
On top of The Clean Slate Act sealing criminal records, the new law will also expand the number of marijuana-related offenses that qualify for expungement.
Remaining Question About Marijuana-Related Legislation
Marijuana legalization is still brand new in Minnesota, and even more laws are coming into effect in the coming years. It is important to stay informed about the evolving laws and regulations surrounding marijuana in Minnesota, as they may change over time.
For up-to-date and accurate information regarding record relief or expungement for marijuana-related offenses, and many others, understanding the legal landscape can be cumbersome. When it comes to these topics surrounding legal marijuana in Minnesota, you may need the expertise of a professional criminal attorney.
If you have any questions about the recent marijuana laws that have come into effect, we would love to sit down with you and discuss your options. You can get in touch online or call one of our legal experts at 763-241-0477