With the pending legalization of marijuana in Minnesota, a common question we have received from the public is whether cities and counties can prevent cannabis retailers from setting up shop in their city. The answer is—sort of.
The new cannabis bill provides that local units of government may not prohibit the possession, transportation, or use of cannabis flower or other legal cannabis products. It also provides that local units of government may not prohibit the establishment of a cannabis business that has been properly licensed. That said, this law allows local units of government to establish reasonable restrictions on the “time, place, and manner” of operations, and control how close a retailer can be to a school or park. The law directs the state to work with local units of government to establish a model ordinance. Cities can also collect a nominal registration fee from retailers and cannabis manufacturers.
So what does that mean? It means that local cities can create some restrictions on the operation of cannabis retailers, but they cannot outright ban them. Those of you who are looking to set up shop in your local city are going to be free to do so, once you receive the proper state licensing.
These restrictions will differ from city to city – what is ok in one of your stores might be illegal in another. These laws are ever-changing, sometimes in conflict with other laws, and seemingly always in flux. Not only should you be aware of your local regulations, but you should be in contact with your attorney to ensure you remain in compliance. The Libby Law Office has been practicing cannabis law since 2015. We would be happy to help you navigate these complex and potentially dangerous issues that could adversely impact your business.