On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance prohibiting the smoking and vaping of cannabis in public places.
The new regulation is modeled after similar laws approved by other counties in the state. It prohibits the use of cannabis in public places or places of public accommodation except for establishments or events licensed to permit on-site consumption of cannabis products. It also bans the use of cannabis where minors could inhale the smoke, aerosol, or vapor.
“Olmsted County aims to protect the public health and safety of people who don’t wish to use cannabis products or be exposed to them, including our youth,” said Olmsted County Board of Commissioners Chair Gregg Wright. “This ordinance demonstrates our dedication to creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone."
Under the ordinance, smoking and vaping of cannabis is prohibited in indoor areas used by the general public or serving as a place of work, including:
- Bowling alleys.
- Commercial establishments.
- Establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.
Cannabis is also prohibited in publicly owned property and outdoor areas of public recreation centers or public parks, hospitals, offices, taxis, limousines, and educational institutions.
The ordinance does not apply to private residences or inaccessible private properties.
"Establishing this ordinance is a vital step for every member of our community," said Olmsted County Deputy Administrator Travis Gransee. "It outlines a set of guidelines aimed at maintaining and promoting a healthier environment for all our residents."