Minnesota Governor Calls for Cannabis Legalization in Budget

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) included $25 million in his supplemental budget for creating a Cannabis Management Office and asked lawmakers to approve adult-use reforms.

Full story after the jump.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) is calling on lawmakers to approve adult-use cannabis reforms and has included $25 million in his supplemental budget to create a Cannabis Management Office to oversee the program, FOX 9 reports.

“Prohibiting the use of cannabis in Minnesota hasn’t worked. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor know that Minnesota needs modernized solutions to harness the benefits of legalizing cannabis, including expanding our economy, creating jobs across the state, allowing law enforcement to focus on violent crime, and regulating the industry in order to keep our kids safe.” – Gov. Walz’s Executive Budget

On Wednesday, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller told FOX 9 that he didn’t “see a path” to passing legalization legislation in the chamber.

The Democratic-led House last year passed the reforms, but they were never taken up by the Senate.

Leili Fatehi, the campaign manager for Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation, told FOX 9 that the majority of Minnesotans support the reforms and that the final hurdle is in the Senate.

“We trust that [voters] will hold accountable those legislators that stand in its way,” Fatehi said in the interview.

Ryan Hamilton, who launched Minnesotans Against Marijuana Legalization, said that the organization is against “a for-profit drug industry that’s pedaling a highly addictive highly potent substance,” contending that legalization has negative impacts on “road safety” and “the impact on adolescent brain development.”

“It’s chemically manipulated and used for profit and addiction,” he said.

The governor is calling for a provision in the law to allow for the expungement of prior non-violent cannabis offenses and state taxes and his budget factors in cannabis tax revenue in 2024 and 2025.

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