Legal cannabis bill re-passes in House 73-57; final approval pending in Senate
The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to legalize the use of recreational marijuana for adults. The bill passed 73-57, with six Republicans joining Democrats.
The House passed the original bill April 25, and a conference committee produced the version that passed Thursday night.
The amended bill now heads to Minnesota Senate, which passed its version of the bill on April 28.
The final version lets people age 21 and older possess:
- Up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in public or up to 2 pounds at home.
- A maximum of 8 grams of cannabis concentrate.
- Edibles with up to 800 milligrams of THC.
Minnesotans can also keep eight cannabis plants at a time, but only four can be mature, flowering plants.
“We hear that because we legalize this, this will eliminate the black market. No, it won’t,” said Rep. Jeff Backer (R-Fergus Falls).
The bill also expunges the criminal record of those who have been convicted of low-level cannabis-related crimes and includes funding for drug recognition training for peace officers.
Many republicans are concerned with the safety of young people. Meanwhile, democrats are focused on removing people from incarceration for cannabis convictions.
“Maybe we can be an example to the next state that thinks that if they just legalize marijuana, everything will be great. And they’ll see that it didn’t turn out and none of the promises that were made to justify this going forward came true,” said Rep. Paul Novotny (R-Elk River).
“Kids are going to consume cannabis and they’ve been doing that only because drug dealers don’t check their IDs. Drug dealers are out to make money, they are not in it to make sure they’re following state regulations. But, in a legal and regulated market, we can ensure that the market has been tested,” said Rep. Jessica Hanson (D-Burnsville). “We’re doing this because we were elected to carry out the will of the people of Minnesota and Minnesotans tell us loud and clear that this is what they want.”
Gov. Tim Walz has indicated he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk, which would make Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis.
Track the progress of this bill and many others throughout the session with KSTP’s Legislative Tracker.