Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Sails Through Fifth Committee, With Floor Vote Expected Next Month

MJ moment

A bill to legalize marijuana in Minnesota advanced again on Monday, passing a fifth House committee as it moves closer to floor action. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) and other lawmakers filed the measure in February. 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 Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee approved the bill, which it amended, in a 11-7 vote on Monday. “This bill, first and foremost, is a recognition of the major racial disparities in how our current drug laws are enforced,” Winkler told the panel prior to the vote. “We have similar cannabis use rates across populations in Minnesota, but we have disproportionate policing and enforcement as applied to African Americans in Minnesota—anywhere from four to 10 times greater arrest rates. We have whole communities that have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.” The majority leader added that “we have an opportunity to create the kind of new industry that can be a model for not only how to be inclusive and how to repair past wrongs, but also to do so in a way that upholds very high environmental standards.” Members adopted a number of changes to the proposal. For example, it now stipulates that members of a cannabis advisory council established under the bill could not serve as lobbyists while on the panel and for two years after they end their service. Other provisions of the amendment stipulate that marijuana products cannot be flavored to taste or smell like anything but the plant itself. Regulators could also adopt rules to “limit or prohibit ingredients in or additives to cannabis or cannabis products.” Another change lays…

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Source : Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Sails Through Fifth Committee, With Floor Vote Expected Next Month

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