Members of the state House of Representatives have advanced legislation, HF 100, legalizing the possession, home-cultivation, retail production and sale of cannabis for those age 21 or older.
Provisions in the measure also facilitate the automatic review and expungement of criminal records specific to misdemeanor marijuana violations.
Similar legislation (SF 73) is pending in the state Senate. Members of that body are expected to vote on and approve that measure on Friday.
“Lawmakers are to be commended for moving this common sense legalization forward,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Minnesota is poised to become an island of cannabis freedom in a sea of marijuana prohibition.”
Discrepancies between the two measures will need to be worked out in conference committee prior to the advancement of a single bill to Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, who is on record in support of legalizing and regulating marijuana. If passed, the adult-use possession provisions will take effect on August 1, 2023.
House members initially passed legalization legislation in 2021, but that bill failed to receive a vote in the Senate — which was then under Republican control. Democrats took control of the Senate chamber following the November mid-term election.
“This is a historic day for Minnesotans who have been waiting for cannabis legalization for many, many years,” said state Rep. Zack Stephenson, the House bill’s sponsor. “We’re going to get the job done.”
Members voted 71 to 59 in favor of the bill.
The floor vote in favor of HF 100 comes only days after Democratic Gov. John Carney of Delaware announced that he would allow similar legalization legislation to become law absent his signature. Twenty-two states and Washington, DC have now legalized the use of cannabis by adults.
Additional information is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center.’