Minnesota legislators make key changes to marijuana legalisation bill

The House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee of the Minnesota legislature have this week approved several amendments to legislation which would pave the way for legal use of cannabis in the state.

There are now several key changes:

-The addition of a new license category for businesses that sell “lower-potency edible products”. There would also be reduced regulatory requirements for those licensees, and they’d be able to permit on-site consumption if they have a liquor license.

-The bill was further amended this week to include tribal representatives on a new Cannabis Advisory Council that would be established and add a packaging requirement on cannabis products to warn about consumption by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

-Adults 21 and older could purchase up to two ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to eight plants, four of which could be mature.

-They could possess up to two ounces in a public place and up to five pounds in a private dwelling.

-Gifting up to two ounces of marijuana without remuneration between adults would be permitted.

-Retail cannabis sales would be taxed at eight percent. Part of that revenue would fund substance misuse treatment programs, as well as grants to support farmers.

-A new Office of Cannabis Management would be established, and it would be responsible for regulating the market and issuing cannabis business licenses. There would be a designated Division of Social Equity.

“Minnesotans are ready. Cannabis should not be illegal in Minnesota,” Democrat Representative Zack Stephenson said. “Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make responsible decisions about cannabis themselves. Our current laws are doing more harm than good.”