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May 23, 2023

Minnesota Approves Recreational Weed; Governor Signs Bill

May 30 update
Governor Tim Walz signed the marijuana legalization bill into law today. The new possession and use laws will take effect Aug. 1, 2023.

The Minnesota state legislature approved marijuana legalization last week, and Governor Tim Walz says he will sign the bill into law next week. The law will make possession and cultivation of marijuana legal for adults over 21 beginning Aug. 1, although a system for legal sales may be nearly two years away.

Minnesota will become the 23rd state to legalize possession and recreational sales. Delaware approved recreational weed in April.

The Minnesota Senate and House passed separate legalization bills in recent weeks, and a bicameral conference committee ironed out the differences in time for both houses to pass the final bill before the legislative session ended Monday. The final votes were relatively close: 73-57 in the House, and 34-32 in the Senate, according to Marijuana Moment.

It will probably take 12-18 months to issue commercial cultivation and sales licenses, and launch the full legal market, according to Marijuana Moment. Existing medical cannabis businesses will become eligible to receive combination medical/recreation licenses beginning March 1, 2025.

updated May 24th 2023

Gov. Walz has long supported legalization, and has announced a ceremony to celebrate signing the bill next week. The state has already created a website to explain the law to state residents.

The law will make possession and transport of up to two ounces of marijuana, eight grams of concentrates, and 800 milligrams of edibles legal in public spaces as of Aug. 1, although residents will be allowed to possess up to two pounds of marijuana flower in their homes. The public possession limits also apply to edible products made with hemp-derived cannabinoids.

Individuals will be allowed to grow up to eight plants (four mature) at home.

Recreational cannabis products will be taxed 10 percent (plus the state’s regular 6.875 percent sales tax) at the point of sale. The state will automatically expunge criminal records for cannabis offenses, beginning in August.

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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