People with marijuana convictions could see them off their records

After the Aug. 1 decriminalization of cannabis, those with misdemeanor possession convictions on their records will see them automatically expunged.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 8:04 AM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Minnesota is now the 23rd state to decriminalize the possession, use, and home growth of cannabis.

Beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 1, people can legally possess, use, and home-grow cannabis in Minnesota.

One potentially life-changing part of the new cannabis law: people with marijuana convictions could see those convictions wiped off their records.

Jeramiah Moore is one of them looking to put his record behind him.

“It put a damper on a lot of things and jobs, getting a place to rent and stuff like that,” said Moore.

For people who have a misdemeanor possession conviction on their record, it will be automatically expunged.

According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), this impacts 70,000 people in the state.

Yet, if you have a felony conviction for sale or possession, it will be looked at by a board on a case-by-case basis.

Based on the circumstances, it could be resentenced into something small or erased altogether.

“Locally, Blue Earth County Attorney’s office won’t be handling those expungements,” said Todd Coryell, of the Criminal Division Chief for Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office.” The County Attorney’s Office has had for some time now a records program that allowed for a lot of those same types of offenses to be expunged prior to the new law.”

The state projects most legal retail sales likely won’t begin until early 2025, while it creates and implements a licensing and regulatory system for the new industry.

Moore says what was once a damper on his life will soon open doors. He said after licensing is issued, he plans to kickstart his business.

Moore says what was once a damper on his life, will soon open doors. After licensing is issued, he plans to kickstart his business.

“I’ve always had a passion for cannabis [since I was] very young,” said Moore. “And I’ve been into learning how to grow it and grow it naturally, to the best of our abilities, so it’s more medicinal.”

In May, Mankato city council voted to place a temporary pause on cannabis sales within city limits for up to a year.

The pause does not impact THC sales, nor does it prevent residents 21 and older from using or possessing marijuana.

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