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Monday, May 29, 2023

Minnesota House approves bill legalizing adult cannabis use

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This week, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize cannabis for adults and create a regulatory system for the production and sale of recreational marijuana. The bill, House File 100, was approved by a vote of 71-59 on Tuesday and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Two Republicans joined all but one of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) representatives to vote for the bill on Tuesday. Before the discussion about the measure the day before, DFB representative Zak Stephenson said decades of cannabis bans had not succeeded in making the country safer.

“it is time,” Stephenson said At a press conference on Monday. “Minnesota residents deserve the freedom and respect to make responsible cannabis decisions for themselves.”

The House File 100 will allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower in a public place and up to 1.5 pounds in a private residence. The bill also allows for home cultivation, with a cap of eight cannabis plants including up to four flowering plants. Adults are also allowed to have up to eight grams of hemp concentrates And marijuana foods are packed with up to 800 milligrams of THC. The legislation also legalizes the consumption of cannabis in a private area and allows adults to offer cannabis to another adult up to the point of public possession.

“Minnesotaans have told us loud and clear that Prohibition is the problem, not cannabis.” He said German Football Association representative Jessica Hanson. “And that they expect us to put an end to the ill-fated days of Prohibition and to create a safe, legal and orderly market that promotes fairness and redress for our past wrongs.”

The legislation also includes measures to legalize the production and sale of adult use cannabis. A hemp management office will be established to oversee the licensing and regulation of cannabis growers, processors, distributors and retailers. Hemp products will be charged an 8% tax rate in addition to state and local sales taxes. The bill also eliminates previous convictions for low-level marijuana offenses and contains social justice provisions to provide grants to individuals entering the regulated cannabis industry.

Peel faced Republican opposition in Minnesota

The bill faced strong opposition from House Republicans who said communities that didn’t want marijuana businesses would be forced to allow retail dispensaries in their jurisdictions.

“We’ll say, ‘You know what? Stick that bill in your pipe and smoke it and take it because we know better,'” said Republican Rep. Chris Swidzynski. “That’s what you tell these small towns to do with that bill. We’ll stick it down your throat and you’ll love it. And if you don’t like it and say, “Fly a kite, state legislature.” We will open the door to litigation.”

Republican Representative Christine Robbins said the bill does not include provisions to allow local governments to charge licensing fees or to adopt additional regulations on the cannabis business.

“Cities want the ability to regulate the number of licenses in their jurisdiction,” Robbins said, adding that she would like to see provisions allowing local governments to revoke licenses held by problematic businesses.

The Senate version of the bill includes provisions allowing local governments to cap the number of licenses. But supporters of the House bill pointed out that other states that have included local licensing control have faced significant challenges in creating a viable regulated cannabis economy.

“Countries that have allowed withdrawals, this is where the illicit market continues to thrive and grow,” Stephenson said. “We need a unified set of cannabis standards across the state to make sure we do everything we can to curb the illegal market and transition to a legitimate market with consumer protection and controls.”

If passed by the state Senate and signed into law by Democratic Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota would become the 23rd state in the country to end the ban on cannabis. Chrissie Atterholt, associate attorney at cannabis and drug law firm Vicente LLP, noted that licensed cannabis retailers in Minnesota will likely have the opportunity to serve consumers from many Midwestern states.

Atterholt wrote in an email to: High times. “The state is moving toward becoming the next great cannabis opportunity in the Midwest. Not a single state that shares a border with Minnesota has enacted adult use opportunities for cannabis, leaving the market wide open for businesses and consumers.”

The House 100 filing now heads to the state Senate, where a debate on the measure is scheduled for Friday. Stephenson said he was confident the bill would also pass in the upper house of the Minnesota legislature.

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