Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation into law today making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize and regulate the adult-use marijuana market.
“This victory is especially satisfying,” said NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “The passage of this law is the result of years of grassroots activism by consumers and stakeholders, including Minnesota NORML and one of its founding members – who himself was once a victim of cannabis prohibition. Those destructive policies will soon come to an end, and this summer Minnesota begins to process of righting past wrongs.”
“We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked. By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe,” said Governor Walz. “Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or re-sentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”
The new law permits adults to purchase (up to two ounces from state-licensed retailers and/or 8 grams of concentrate and 800 milligrams worth of edible products), home-cultivate (up to eight plants, no more than four of which can be mature), and possess (up to 2 pounds in private) cannabis. The bill also facilitates the automatic review and expungement of records for those previously convicted of certain marijuana-related violations.
Adults may legally possess cannabis on August 1, 2023. State officials at that time will begin the process of reviewing and expunging tens of thousands of marijuana convictions. By contrast, retail sales of cannabis products are not anticipated to begin until some time next year.
State regulators with the newly created Office of Cannabis Management oversee licensing commercial cannabis growers, retailers, and delivery services. On-site consumption will be allowed at certain permitted events. Municipal officials will be able to impose regulations regarding the total number of cannabis businesses and their locations, but they may not prohibit their operations. Retail cannabis sales will be taxed at ten percent.
Minnesota will be the third state this year to enact marijuana legalization. Delaware lawmakers passed a pair of bills in April legalizing adult-use marijuana possession and establishing a system for the licensed sales of cannabis products. Under the new laws, adult-use possession became legal on April 23. State regulators must begin accepting retail business license applications by August 1, 2024.
Maryland lawmakers also recently passed legislation to implement a voter-approved referendum legalizing the use and sale of marijuana products and expunging cannabis-related criminal records. Adults will be legally able to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates with no penalty beginning on July 1st. Existing medical cannabis dispensaries will be able to apply (for a fee) for dual licensure to sell to the adult-use market beginning this summer. State regulators must start approving additional marijuana business licenses by July 1, 2024.
Additional information is available from the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management.