​BCA prepares to implement Clean Slate, Adult-Use Cannabis expungements

June 9, 2023

Justice scales and a gavel

Some Minnesotans will soon have certain criminal records expunged thanks to a pair of laws passed by the Minnesota Legislature: The Adult-Use Cannabis Act and the Clean Slate Act. These laws require automatic expungement of some records in our Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's (BCA) criminal history database.​

So, what exactly is an expungement?

Expungement is a process that seals records including convictions, arrests and other records, preventing them from being viewed.

These records are provided to the BCA by law enforcement, courts and corrections. Statutes, laws and rules determine who can see the records and under what circumstances. They also govern what types of records (convictions, arrests, juvenile records, etc.) can be seen and by whom. Public data from these records can be viewed on the BCA's Criminal History System (CHS) website.

Criminal history records will soon contain a notice that cannabis-related offenses may be eligible for expungement under the new Adult-Use Cannabis law. The specifics on how it will work and what the language will say are being developed now.

The Adult-Use Cannabis Act goes into effect Aug. 1. The law requires automatic expungement of certain cannabis-related records at the BCA and, once that happens, at the courts and local agencies. A Cannabis Expungement Board will be created to review certain felony level cannabis-related records to determine eligibility for expungement.

An estimated 66,000 cannabis-related records in the CHS are eligible for automatic expungement; an additional 230,000 records would be eligible for review by the Expungement Review Board at the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Offenses will remain on an individual's record until the BCA implements technical and programmatic changes in the CHS, which will likely occur closer to August 2024.

The Clean Slate Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2025, sets out a process for the BCA to seal the records that qualify for expungement, from petty misdemeanor to felony level offenses. However, the Clean Slate Act also expands the list of offenses eligible to petition the courts for an expungement order.

Records sealed at the BCA will remain visible in other states per the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact, unless the BCA receives a court order.

Minnesotans can track progress of the BCA's work on implementing the expungements on the BCA website.​​