Minnesota Senate Hears Cannabis Legalization Bill

For the first time ever, a Minnesota Senate committee heard testimony this week related to a cannabis legalization proposal — similar bills have passed the House but were blocked in the formerly Republican-controlled Senate.

Full story after the jump.

A Minnesota Senate committee this week heard testimony on an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal – the first time any of the chamber’s committees have taken up a legalization measure, KARE11 reports. The bill, proposed by Sen. Lindsey Port (D), would allow retail cannabis sales and includes expungement provisions. 

Similar versions of the bill have passed the state House in the past but have never been taken up by the Senate – both chambers had been under Republican control, but Democrats won majorities in both the House and Senate last November.   

During the Public Safety Committee hearing, Port indicated the bill “will have 18 committee stops” before making it to the floor for a vote. A companion version in the House earlier this month passed the chamber’s Commerce Finance and Policy Committee.  

The measure was opposed during the hearing by the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association and the Minnesota Trucking Association. Both organizations delivered opposition testimony during other committee hearings on the measure.  

On a voice vote, the committee passed the bill without recommendation, but expects to hear more on the bill in the future as it works its way through the legislative process.  

According to a Marijuana Moment report, the House version this week also passed the House Labor and Industry Finance and Policy Committee – the fourth committee it cleared in the chamber – and the Senate version passed the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.

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