Lawmakers introduced an adult-use marijuana legalization bill in Minnesota, the place newly empowered Democrats say the friendlier political panorama bodes properly for the measure’s passage.
After the swearing-in of the brand new state Legislature on Tuesday, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Social gathering (DFL) controls each the state Senate and Home for the first time in eight years.
Legalization additionally has the support of Democratic Gov. Tim Walz.
Medical hashish has been authorized in Minnesota since 2014, though it’s out there solely underneath a few of the heaviest restrictions in the USA.
There have been solely 30,395 registered MMJ sufferers in Minnesota as of early 2022, however gross sales had been anticipated to exceed not more than $90 million final 12 months, in accordance with the 2022 MJBiz Factbook.
As for leisure hashish, partisan squabbling has stymied all progress – a state of affairs mirroring the impasse seen in different states the place there is no such thing as a voter-initiated referendum course of.
Earlier legalization efforts in Minnesota have handed the state Home but were blocked within the then-Republican-controlled state Senate.
With a six-seat DFL majority within the Home and a one-seat majority within the Senate, state lawmakers say legalization has a a lot better shot this 12 months.
“I consider 2023 would be the 12 months we legalize adult-use hashish,” Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL, the Home invoice sponsor, instructed Minneapolis TV station WCCO.
“Hashish shouldn’t be unlawful in Minnesota. Our present legal guidelines are doing extra hurt than good.”
If handed, the invoice would legalize possession, use and sale of leisure marijuana for adults 21 and older. It could additionally expunge sure low-level marijuana convictions.
The invoice would additionally regulate hemp-derived THC merchandise, equivalent to these containing the controversial cannabinoid delta-8 THC in addition to hemp-derived delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid present in hashish.