Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets First Hearing Next Week

MJ moment

A bill to legalize marijuana in Minnesota will receive its first hearing in a House committee next week, and legislative leaders are encouraging the public to participate as they solicit testimony on the proposal. The announcement comes about a week after the cannabis reform legislation was filed by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) and other lawmakers. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to eight plants, four of which could be mature. The House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee will meet to consider the bill on February 17. Rep. Zack Stephenson (D), who chairs that panel, said in a statement that as a former prosecutor, he’s “seen firsthand the amount of resources the state expends on current cannabis restrictions.” “We ought to be strategic in where these resources are going so we can be efficient in how we address more pressing public safety needs,” he said. Winkler said that the state’s existing marijuana laws “are doing more harm than good” and that a “responsibly regulated market is better than an illegal market.” “With neighboring states like South Dakota approving adult-use cannabis by voter referendum, we must make policy that serves Minnesotans,” he said. — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access. — The leader’s bill is identical to a proposal he filed last year, with some minor technical changes. Winkler, who led a statewide listening to gather public input ahead…

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