Surrounded by lawmakers, former Gov. Jesse Ventura, and cannabis advocates wearing green, on Tuesday, May 30, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill legalizing adult-use cannabis beginning in August.
The law also calls for the expungement or resentencing of cannabis convictions.
“By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe,” said Gov. Walz. “Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”
“Legalizing adult-use cannabis is about keeping our communities safe, advancing justice for Minnesotans, and investing in a strong economic future,” said Lt. Gov. Flanagan. “Prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked and has disproportionately harmed communities of color across the state.
“By expunging nonviolent cannabis convictions, we are removing the barriers that prevent thousands of Minnesotans from fully returning to work, to their communities, and to their lives. This is how we make safer communities.”
The bill also establishes a new Office of Cannabis Management to regulate the new industry and includes a 10% tax on recreational cannabis.
Cannabis use and possession of certain amounts will be decriminalized beginning August 1 along with the establishment of the Cannabis Expungement Board and provisions related to the automatic expungement of lower-level cannabis offenses. The bill allows sales for legal adult-use cannabis in Minnesota to begin in the first quarter of 2025.
Additionally, the bill also includes grants for cannabis growers; substance use treatment, recovery, and prevention; and communities that have disproportionately suffered the effects of cannabis prohibition.
With the signing of the bill, Minnesota becomes the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis.
Look for more on this story in upcoming editions of the MSR.