Minnesota House votes to legalize marijuana
The Minnesota House has voted to legalize marijuana use for adults.
The bill passed Tuesday by a vote of 71-59.
“We know Minnesota’s current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good,” said Rep. Zack Stephenson. “Over the last three years, DFLers in the legislature have worked and listened to build a Minnesota-specific model for cannabis legalization. This bill creates a safe, well-regulated legal marketplace, and includes best practices for consumer protection, health, and public safety. It also prioritizes a robust expungement program, so people who have been disproportionately impacted by our current cannabis laws can move on with their lives. It is time for legalization, and I’m proud to carry this bill forward.”
The bill was reviewed and approved by 16 committees before reaching the House Floor. In its current version, it would permit a person age 21 or older to:
- possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in a public place or 1.5 pounds in a person’s residence;
- possess or transport no more than 8 grams of adult-use cannabis concentrate;
- possess or transport edible products infused with up to 800 milligrams of THC;
- give away cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in an amount that is legal for a person to possess in public;
- use cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in private areas; and
- cultivate up to eight cannabis plants, of which four or fewer may be mature, flowering plants.
The bill also creates the Office of Cannabis Management, which will oversee the regulation of cannabis, cannabis products, hemp edibles, and hemp-derived consumer products.
The legislation will also provide automatic expungement of prior petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor marijuana convictions and creates a Cannabis Expungement Board, which will review other cannabis convictions and determine if a person is eligible for expungement.
Under the legislation, the Department of Employment and Economic Development is directed to give grants to nonprofit corporations to subsidize startup loans to new cannabis microbusinesses, and help cannabis businesses start and train employees.
Minnesota will become the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis and the third state in the Midwest when the bill is signed into law.