Minnesota Releases Updates About Two Cannabis Related Acts

January 09, 2024

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recently blogged an update concerning two Acts. The blog details the steps the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has taken since passing these Acts. The Acts in question are the Adult-Use Cannabis Act and the Clean Slate Act, passed last spring. 

According to the new article, the BCA is still working to implement either Act’s significant changes. The Adult Use Cannabis Act and Clean Slate Act passed in early 2023. Both changed who can view criminal history information, such as arrest and conviction records. Ordinarily, publicly available information from criminal history records is available online from the BCA.

Under the Adult Use Cannabis Act, Minnesotans with certain low-level cannabis-related offenses will qualify to seal their records. The Act requires an automatic expungement for all qualifying records from the BCA’s database. The BCA has estimated that more than 66,000 records may qualify for automatic sealing under the Adult Use Cannabis Act.

According to the BCA, it is well on its way to successfully creating the processes needed to automate these expungements. This effort included employing over a dozen staff and contractors to develop the necessary systems. The BCA claimed it will continue to analyze and establish rules for identifying qualifying records and notifying law enforcement and judicial authorities.

The state has created a Cannabis Expungement Board for those with felony offenses. This Board reviews cases and determines eligibility for expungement or resentencing under the new regulations. According to the BCA, there are 230,000 eligible offenses for review by the Board.

The Clean Slate Act takes effect in January 2025. It will expand the list of offenses qualifying for expungement. In addition, it will introduce a process for the BCA to seal qualifying records. However, the BCA has yet to determine the number of records that may be affected by the Act.

The BCA will continue improving its database to ensure the prompt completion of expungements. Furthermore, the Bureau added language to all criminal records. This change would indicate whether the records contain information about acts that are no longer illegal. The statement is the following:

“Minnesota Session Laws – 2023, Chapter 63, Article 5 requires automatic expungement of certain cannabis-related offenses effective August 1, 2023. While the Criminal History System is being updated to support the changes, an individual’s record may include cannabis-related offenses that are eligible for automatic expungement. In addition, an individual’s record may include cannabis-related offenses that are eligible for review by the Cannabis Expungement Board. The Board will determine whether the offense meets the criteria for resentencing or an order of expungement through the Judicial Branch.”

When performing background checks, employers must ensure that they receive up-to-date criminal history information that reflects these changes. The best way to help ensure this is to work with an experienced employment screening provider. The right partner will ensure the company complies with all state and federal regulations.

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