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Minnesota Cannabis Legalization Bill Passes Committee

May 5, 2021

Since the initial proposal in February, the Minnesota cannabis legalization bill has rapidly gained acceptance. The need for cannabis legalization in the state compelled the authorities to make it official as soon as possible.

Previously, nine house committees had approved of the bill, namely the: 

  • Education Finance Committee
  • Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee
  • Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee
  • Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee
  • Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee
  • Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee
  • Commerce Finance and Policy Committee
  • State Government Finance
  • Elections Committee

On Saturday, the Health Finance and Policy Committee approved the bill with a vote of 11-8. The meeting was held in association with the Human Services Finance and Policy Committee. However, only the Heath Committee voted for or against the bill.

Minnesota Cannabis Legalization

This was a historic moment for the cannabis enthusiasts in Minnesota as ten Houses had approved the legislation making it one of the most credible legal reforms.

The bill, initially proposed by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D), and other lawmakers, stated that adults over the age of 21 should be allowed to use cannabis legally.

The legislation allows adults of said age to buy and own limited quantities of cannabis, 1.5 ounces to be precise. Moreover, the bill also grants the residents of Minnesota to cultivate up to eight cannabis plants.

Ryan, during the discussion, elicited that the legislation aims to build a legalized, organized market for cannabis and its products so that the criminal temperance of cannabis and all of the racial inequality correlated with the criminal prohibition of cannabis can be terminated for good.

Additionally, the bill also seeks to grant Minnesota adults the right to legally use cannabis within harmless limits so that its usage can be well regulated. Furthermore, this legislation will also encourage sellers to sell quality products as it will tightly regulate every sale.

The Minnesota cannabis legalization bill will also end the monopoly established by corporate players. Instead, it will allow locals to engage in the industry—the bill summons for a seven-person Cannabis Management Board endowment. The board would effectively control the market and distribute cannabis business licenses to the locals after proper inquiry.

The next station for this legislation is the House Taxes Committee. It is the 11th House Committee the bill is going to, and according to Winkler, it will pass it with the majority of the votes. If the legislation passes through this Committee, future steps will become much more favorable.

Outlook Ahead

However, it would still have to get the Senate’s approval, without which no legislation can become a permanent law in Minnesota. The lawmakers in the Senate have indicated that they are more enthusiastic about updating the state’s pre-existing medical cannabis program instead of enabling the right of legal, public use.

Despite this, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler is fully hopeful that the legislation will pass through all the steps, and cannabis will be legalized in the state of Minnesota shortly.