Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) has introduced adult-use cannabis legalization legislation which includes eight-plant home grows, social-use, and expungement for most cannabis convictions, but it’s unlikely to pass this session which ends May 18.
Winkler announced plans to introduce the bill last February and said in a press release that while the coronavirus pandemic is the “current priority” of state lawmakers, he wanted to “follow through” on the commitment to introduce the legalization measure this session.
“Minnesotans have been loud and clear that our current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good. By creating a regulatory framework we can address the harms caused by cannabis and establish a more sensible set of laws to improve our health care and criminal justice systems and ensure better outcomes for communities.” – Winkler in a statement
The bill does not include a tax or fee structure, but it does cap industry application fees at $250. The measure includes provisions for so-called microbusinesses in an effort to help drive the craft cannabis market in the state.
During November’s CannaConMN Symposium, Sal Barnes of the Marijuana Policy Group, estimated that recreational cannabis products could bring in $300 million to state coffers over five years on sales of $1.12 billion and create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs statewide. During that event, Winkler predicted that House Democrats would introduce a bill for the 2020 session and predicted that while it would pass the Democratically-controlled House it would likely falter in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Minnesota lawmakers introduced a bipartisan legalization bill during last year’s session, but a Senate committee voted to kill the bill after its Republican co-author said he wouldn’t vote for it but would instead support decriminalization.
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