newsWith more and more states legalizing adult-use cannabis, Minnesota is next in line for legalization.
Sooner Than Later
“By May,” says Gov. Tim Walz (D), who has been on the offensive to get cannabis legalized in the state. Governor Walz has described the legalization of cannabis as an issue of “top priority” and expects it to be one of the first items he tackles in 2023.
The governor also included funding for the legalization implementation in his budget for 2023.
“We brought in folks from Colorado and Vermont early in our administration. We asked: What would the regulatory regime look like? What would the revenue piece look like? What would the enforcement pieces look like? What about the expungement of convictions? We put that into place, we’ve worked for four years to try and get it passed, and the senate Republicans wouldn’t do it.”
The speed at which Governor Walz is acting appears to be an attempt to make up for the time wasted and lost during the past two years with Republicans blocking the path to cannabis legalization.
The House passed a legalization bill from House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) in 2021 after moving it through 12 committees on its intensive legislative journey to the floor. But the bill stalled out in the GOP-controlled Senate.
An earlier bipartisan legalization proposal led by Sens. Scott Jensen (R) and Lopez Franzen in 2019 also did not advance because of Republican opposition.
Franzen also tried to leverage a legislative procedure earlier this year in an attempt to bypass the committee process and quickly bring legalization to the floor. The motion, however, did not receive the required supermajority support to work.
Now, finally, things seem to be moving.
Polls involving Minnesota residents show that the majority of residents support adult-use cannabis legalization. And other surveys show backing for legalized adult-use cannabis to be at 61%.
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) said this bill was the product of hundreds of hours of hard work involving thousands of people, hearings, and listening sessions.
In 2019, state agencies were already being asked to prepare to implement reform in anticipation of cannabis legalization.
While legalization wasn’t enacted, the governor did sign a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program, in part by allowing patients to access smokable cannabis products.
What This Means For Minnesota
With adult-use cannabis being potentially legalized as soon as May, this spells incredible news for users as well as the state as a whole.
Increased economic activity and revenue growth almost always follow cannabis legalization, with dispensaries and manufacturers adding countless jobs to the state, further strengthening the economy.
Adult-use cannabis legalization in Minnesota also means that recreational users will be able to purchase their cannabis from respected/high-quality producers and dispensaries instead of going to illicit markets for cannabis.
This also reduces the risk of users using laced products, which can lead to serious health issues and unwanted complications.
The legalization of adult-use cannabis would be a huge win for the Minnesota cannabis community. And as luck has it, it looks like we’re going to see that happening sooner rather than later.
Hold on to your buds! Legalization is coming!
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!