Minnesota House passes recreational marijuana legislation

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(St. Paul, MN) -- The Minnesota House is advancing legislation that would allow for recreational adult use of cannabis.

The move comes amid a delayed vote that was supposed to take place Monday of this week, but was pushed back due to a few issues in committee work.

“We know Minnesota’s current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good,” said the bill's author and Coon Rapids State Representative Zack Stephenson. “Over the last three years, DFLers in the legislature have worked and listened to build a Minnesota-specific model for cannabis legalization. This bill creates a safe, well-regulated legal marketplace, and includes best practices for consumer protection, health, and public safety. It also prioritizes a robust expungement program, so people who have been disproportionately impacted by our current cannabis laws can move on with their lives. It is time for legalization, and I’m proud to carry this bill forward.”

Introduced in January, the bill was reviewed and approved by 16 committees before reaching the House Floor. In its current version, it would permit a person age 21 or older to:

  • possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in a public place or 1.5 pounds in a person’s residence
  • possess or transport no more than 8 grams of adult-use cannabis concentrate
  • possess or transport edible products infused with up to 800 milligrams of THC
  • give away cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in an amount that is legal for a person to possess in public
  • use cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in private areas
  • cultivate up to eight cannabis plants, of which four or fewer may be mature, flowering plants

The bill passed late Tuesday afternoon in a bipartisan vote of 71-59.

The Senate is expected to vote on the measure Friday. Any differences would have to be worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.

If the bill is eventually passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Tim Walz, it would make Minnesota the 23rd state in the U.S. to approve adult-use cannabis.