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Minnesota House Finally Approves the Cannabis Legalization Bill

May 14, 2021

The cannabis legalization bill in Minnesota finally passed the House and will head to the State Senate. Over the past few years, there has been tremendous progress as far as legalizing medicinal pot is concerned. However, no year proved to be as successful for the cannabis lawmakers as 2021. This year, several states have taken the right step forward in legalizing the herb.

The best part about all this legal business is that some of the most conservative states are becoming more considerate. States like Virginia, Nebraska, and Alabama, where one least expects such a bill to get passed, are on the right track!

Similarly, Minnesota has also been among those states for quite some time now.  Ryan Winkler (House Majority Leader), Melissa Hortman (Speaker), and other lawmakers initiated the legislature by proposing the bill in front of the House committees in February.

Over the course of this passage, the bill was presented in each of the 12 House Committees. Until finally, the last House Committee passed it yesterday. After a final vote of the entire House, the full chamber passed the measure with a vote of 72-61. As Winkler says, it was a close call, but they were on the right side of it!

Minnesota Cannabis Legalization Bill Details 

The bill passed the 12 committees in the undermentioned order, from last to first.

  • Ways and Means Committee
  • Taxes Committee
  • Health Finance and Policy Committee
  • Public Safety & Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee
  • Education Finance Committee
  • State Government Finance and Elections Committee
  • Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee
  • Environment & Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee
  • Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee
  • Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee
  • Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee and
  • Commerce Finance and Policy Committee

After the Minnesota Marijuana Legalization bill passed the Ways and Means Committee, it was approved by a full chamber after proper review of the legislation. Now, the bill is set to reach the Senate, where it will be approved or rejected for one final time.

Uncertainties in the Senate

Although things are looking good, there have been some uncertainties coming from the GOP, which is against the passage of this bill. However, Winkler believes that any opposition is unreasonable. He stated, “Cannabis prohibition in Minnesota has been a total failure, and the penalties charged for using cannabis are criminal, especially due to the racial profiling involved against the black Minnesotans.”

Despite the governor supporting the Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill, it is still expected to meet a challenge in the Republican-controlled Senate. Some lawmakers have indicated that they are more engaged in reviewing the state’s subsisting medical cannabis program instead of bluntly ending prohibition.

Once the Senate passes the bill with a majority vote, Minnesotans(over the legal age of 21) will be granted the legal freedom to purchase and possess up to one and a half ounces of medicinal marijuana and cultivate up to eight plants, four of which could be mature.

Moreover, it will help establish a regular market where locals can buy medicinal marijuana without legal issues. The bill will also part in social equity for all residents. However, right now, we can just hope that the Senate approves of this bill!