The next step of their campaign to legalize marijuana in MN was unveiled by a group of activists in the state. A reworked reform bill, which had already cleared the House, is now being pushed through the Senate and requires legislative approval.
Ryan Winkler (D), the departing majority leader of the Minnesota House and current head of the MN is Ready campaign, is credited as the measure’s primary sponsor.
As the new legislative session begins, with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party having majorities in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the governor’s office, the group says it will form a 501(c)(4) dubbed MN is Ready Action.
Legalization advocates in the House pushed for a bill that would have let those over the age of 21 buy and possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to eight plants for personal use, but the bill died in the Senate, which is currently controlled by the Republican party. It was the “best legalization bill in the country,” according to Winkler.
According to Marijuana Moment, MN is Ready’s campaign manager Leili Fatehi said that the new bill they will push for in 2023 is very similar to the one they pushed for in the previous session, but with key revisions, such as adding a license category for businesses that sell “lower-potency edible products” in accordance with Minnesota’s unique THC law that the governor signed this year.
To protect businesses that now offer low-THC beverages and edibles from being forced to close, licensees would be subject to fewer restrictions and could allow on-site consumption if they also hold a liquor license as reported by Weed Main.
The new version of the bill also addresses an issue with existing law that previously prevented liquor retailers from selling THC products. The measure has been amended to include wording prohibiting synthetic cannabis, which is in line with standards established by the Board of Pharmacy earlier this year, and to simplify the criminal penalties portion, which had been causing confusion.
“We know that the majority of Minnesotans agree that it’s time to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis,” Winkler stated. “The bill we passed in the House in 2021 went through more than a dozen committees, has since been updated, and is ready for reintroduction. I’m confident it’s the right bill at the right time. Minnesota is ready for full legalization.”