Marijuana in Minnesota

St. Paul City Council restricts cannabis, tobacco smoking in public places

A person lights a marijuana joint
Brittany Weichel blocks the wind while Tara Eck lights a joint during a celebration at First Avenue in Minneapolis marking the legalization of recreational marijuana on Aug 1. Differing form Minneapolis, the St. Paul City Council voted to restrict cannabis and tobacco smoking in public places.
Nicole Neri for MPR News

The St. Paul City Council has passed an ordinance restricting smoking cannabis, tobacco and hemp products on city-controlled property. The vote passed 4-3.

The new ordinance prohibits smoking within 25 feet of public places and places of employment within St. Paul. It also prohibits smoking in city parks and any area designated for recreation by the city. 

The new ordinance defines smoking as inhaling, exhaling, vaping or lighted cigarette, rolled cannabis, cigar, pipe and electronic smoking devices. It only prohibits smoking, and does not prohibit the use of cannabis gummies, edibles or drinks containing THC.  

A previous version of the ordinance would have made smoking cannabis flower or cannabis products in a public space a petty misdemeanor. That language was not included in the version that passed.   

During a discussion on the vote, Council member Chris Tolbert said the new ordinance leaves open the possibility the city might designate smoking areas in St. Paul city parks.   

The ordinance does allow for the use of tobacco as a part of American Indian cultural practice or a religious, spiritual or cultural ceremony. 

Minnesota legalized personal cannabis use and possession of certain amounts of cannabis on Aug. 1. State legislation allows cities to enact temporary moratoriums on cannabis sales until January of 2025.