Legal marijuana generates excitement and confusion

Recreational marijuana is now legal

Recreational marijuana is now legal

The first day of business for the new Grounded Gardens Cannabis Store featured a steady stream of customers excited about the legalization of recreational marijuana. Unfortunately for the owner of the store, she couldn’t sell them any of the product that is now legal to possess and use.

“We have been waiting for this day for so many years and we can’t believe it’s actually here,” store owner Bridgette Pinder told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. The excitement tempered just a bit by the fact they’re not yet licensed to sell marijuana products.

“It’s actually very frustrating because most of our customers come in and they want flower or vapes and then they’re like, ‘oh my gosh I have to wait until 2025 to get flower and vapes.’ So yea it is frustrating.”

The Minnesota State Legislature legalized recreational marijuana possession and usage beginning Aug. 1. However, they won’t allow non-tribal dispensaries to sell the products until an Office of Cannabis Management is created that will enforce regulations and issue licenses to sellers. That could take up to 18 months or about early 2025.

RELATED: Quirk in law means marijuana is legal to possess in 2023 with no legal sales until 2025

Customers we talked to said they patiently waited for legalization and are willing to wait a while longer for more convenient ways to buy the products. “I don’t even know how to put it into words to tell you the truth,” said Grounded Gardens customer Scott Peitz. “It’s a long-time coming.”

Other customers acknowledged they’ll likely have to continue relying on the black market for marijuana until sellers are licensed. “That’s a fine line, a gray area that we’re all trying to work around I guess you could say,” said Brittany Stolp as she hung out with friends at the store. Some people were openly smoking pot on the sidewalk in front of the store.

The Grounded Gardens owner says she can sell seeds for people to grow their own cannabis plants. Bridgette Pinder says there’s even talk about challenging the law that doesn’t allow people to sell marijuana they grow at home. She cites a little-known Minnesota Constitutional amendment that she says allows “any person” to “sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied by him without obtaining a license.”

“Minnesotans should be able to sell the flower that they grow and it will be interesting to see who will be the first person that gets in trouble selling flower and if they take it to court with this constitutional amendment and see what’s going to happen from that,” she says.

Just one of the many unknowns about what’s to come after the rollout of the legalization of recreational marijuana.

RELATED: What to know as recreational marijuana becomes legal in Minnesota on Aug. 1