Minnesota Nearing Cannabis Legalization After Senate Passes Adult-Use Legislation

Minnesota is set to become the 23rd state to legalize cannabis after the state’s legislature recently passed legislation to establish an adult-use market.

The Minnesota Senate on Saturday voted 34-32 in approval of House File 100, which legalizes and regulates cannabis in the state. All 34 Democrats in the Minnesota Senate approved the legislation while 32 Republicans voted no and one abstained.

The bill now heads to desk of Gov. Tim Walz, who has pledged to sign it into law and is expected to do so in the coming days. Once signed into law, Minnesotans 21 or older will be allowed to possess, consume and home cultivate cannabis beginning Aug. 1, with a legalized retail market to come.

“The war on drugs has had devastating, harmful effects on our communities,” said Sen. Lindsey Port, a Burnsville Democrat who sponsored the bill, according to the Star Tribune. “It is time. Minnesotans are ready. Let’s legalize, regulate and expunge.”

Under HF 100, Minnesotans age 21 or older will be able to purchase up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrate, and 800 milligrams of edibles. Those amounts will be legal to possess in public, but adults 21 or older will be able to possess up to 2 pounds of cannabis flower at a single home residence.

A 10% sales tax will be applied to all cannabis products, and cities will not be allowed to ban retail dispensaries from their limits, though they will be allowed to limit the number of them.

Home cultivation is also permissible under the bill, with adults 21 or older allowed to grow up to eight cannabis plants at once, with no more than four in flowering at a time. Minnesota is the 11th state to allow home cultivation.

The legislation also expunges all previous non-felony cannabis offenses, establishes a review board for more serious cannabis offenses, and creates an Office of Cannabis Management to oversee cultivation, manufacturing, and retail licensing.

Furthermore, OCM will be required to establish a Division of Social Equity to “engage with the community and administer grants to communities that experienced a disproportionate, negative impact from cannabis prohibition,” according to the bill text.

Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten (DFL-St. Paul) said HF 100 will benefit social equity applicants who were most negatively impacted by the war on drugs.

“You deserve to be at the top of the line for the licenses,” Verbeten said. “Others don’t just get to skip ahead when you’re the ones who lost jobs and you lost housing and educational opportunities. You are the ones who suffered from prohibition and we’re not going to let folks profit off of this new market before you.”

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Zach Mentz

Zach Mentz is an editor at Flavor Fix, covering cannabis, CBD and alcohol news and featured stories. Previously, he worked as senior editor of Cannabis Business Times (CBT). Mentz is a graduate of the Tim Russert Department of Communication at John Carroll University.

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