The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would legalize cannabis for adult use and establish a regulatory system for the production and sale of recreational marijuana. The bill, House File 100, passed Tuesday by a vote of 71 to 59 and will be sent to the state Senate for consideration.
All but one member of the Minnesota Democratic, Farmer, and Labor Party (DFL) voted in favor of the bill on Tuesday, along with two Republicans. Before a discussion of the measures the day before, DFL president Zach Stevenson said decades of cannabis bans have not helped make the state safer.
“It’s time,” stevenson said at a press conference on Monday. “Minnesotans deserve freedom and respect to make responsible decisions about cannabis itself.”
House File 100 allows adults over the age of 21 to own up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in public places and up to 1.5 pounds in private residences. The bill also allows home cultivation, with a limit of eight cannabis plants, including up to four flowering plants. Adults are also allowed to possess up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrate and up to 800 milligrams of THC-infused marijuana food. Allows gifting of cannabis to other adults up to public possession limits.
“People in Minnesota have told us loud and clear that prohibition is the problem, not cannabis.” Said DFL representative Jessica Hanson. “And they look to us to end the ominous days of Prohibition and create a safe, legal and regulated marketplace that promotes fairness and redress for past wrongs.”
The law also includes steps to legalize the manufacture and sale of cannabis for adult use. A Cannabis Authority will be established to oversee the licensing and regulation of cannabis growers, processors, distributors and retailers. In addition to state and local sales taxes, cannabis products are subject to an 8% tax rate. The bill also expunges previous convictions for low-level marijuana crimes and includes a social equity clause to provide subsidies to individuals entering the regulated cannabis industry.
The bill faced Republican opposition Minnesota
The bill faced strong opposition from Republicans in the House, who said communities that didn’t want marijuana business would be forced to allow retail stores in their jurisdiction.
“We’re going to say, ‘What do you know? Stick this bill in your pipe, smoke it, and take it, because we know best.’ That’s what you’re telling these little towns to do with this bill, we’re going to stick it down your throat and you’ll love it. If you don’t like it and say “fly a kite to the legislature”. We are going to open you up for litigation. ”
Republican Rep. Christine Robbins said the bill does not include provisions that would allow local governments to set licensing fees or adopt additional regulations for cannabis businesses.
“The city wants the ability to regulate the number of licenses in its jurisdiction,” Robbins said, adding that he would like to see provisions that allow local governments to revoke licenses held by troubled companies. .
The Senate version of the bill includes provisions that allow local governments to set caps on the number of licenses. But supporters of the House bill noted that other states, including local administration of licenses, see greater challenges in establishing a viable regulated cannabis economy.
“In states that allow opt-outs, illicit markets continue to thrive and grow,” Stephenson said. “We have a uniform set of cannabis standards statewide to curb the illegal market and ensure we are doing our best to transition to a legal market with consumer protection and controls. need to do it.”
If it passes the state Senate and is signed into law by Democratic Gov. Tim Waltz, Minnesota will become the 23rd state in the country to end its marijuana ban. Chrissy Atterholt, associate attorney at cannabis and hallucinogen law firm Vicente LLP, said licensed cannabis retailers in Minnesota have an opportunity to serve consumers in several Midwestern states. I pointed out that it is possible.
“Minnesota is one step closer to providing residents with safe and regulated access to legalized adult-use cannabis,” Atterholt wrote in an email. high times“The state is on track to become the next big cannabis opportunity in the Midwest. The market is wide open for
House File 100 now heads to the state Senate, where debate on the bill is scheduled for Friday. Stephenson said he is confident the bill will pass in the Minnesota Senate.