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Minnesota Becomes the 23rd Legal Marijuana State

May 30, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation into law today making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize and regulate the adult-use marijuana market.

"This victory is especially satisfying," said NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano. "The passage of this law is the result of years of grassroots activism by consumers and stakeholders, including Minnesota NORML and its founder - who himself was once a victim of cannabis prohibition. Those destructive policies will soon come to an end, and this summer Minnesota begins to process of righting past wrongs."

The new law permits adults to purchase (up to two ounces from state-licensed retailers and/or 8 grams of concentrate and 800 milligrams worth of edible products), home-cultivate (up to eight plants, no more than four of which can be mature), and possess (up to 2 pounds in private) cannabis. The bill also facilitates the automatic review and expungement of records for those previously convicted of certain marijuana-related violations.

Adults may legally possess cannabis on August 1, 2023. State officials at that time will begin the process of reviewing and expunging tens of thousands of marijuana convictions. By contrast, retail sales of cannabis products are not anticipated to begin until some time next year.

State regulators with the newly created Office of Cannabis Management oversee licensing commercial cannabis growers, retailers, and delivery services. On-site consumption will be allowed at certain permitted events. Municipal officials will be able to impose regulations regarding the total number of cannabis businesses and their locations, but they may not prohibit their operations. Retail cannabis sales will be taxed at ten percent.

Unlike legalization policies enacted recently in several other states, including Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, the law does not provide language protecting those who consume cannabis at home from facing sanctions in the workplace if they test positive for cannabis metabolites on a drug screen.

Minnesota will be the third state this year to enact marijuana legalization. Delaware lawmakers passed a pair of bills in April legalizing adult-use marijuana possession and establishing a system for the licensed sales of cannabis products. Under the new laws, adult-use possession became legal on April 23. State regulators must begin accepting retail business license applications by August 1, 2024.

Maryland lawmakers also recently passed legislation to implement a voter-approved referendum legalizing the use and sale of marijuana products and expunging cannabis-related criminal records. Adults will be legally able to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates with no penalty beginning on July 1st. Existing medical cannabis dispensaries will be able to apply (for a fee) for dual licensure to sell to the adult-use market beginning this summer. State regulators must start approving additional marijuana business licenses by July 1, 2024.

Additional information is available from the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management.

NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of marijuana by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use marijuana responsibly no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for marijuana-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.

Find out more at norml.org and read the NORML Fact Sheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding cannabis and cannabis policies.



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