Two Minnesota Democrats have introduced legislation to legalize adult cannabis use in the state, according to a WCCO report. Rep. Jon Applebaum, sponsor of one of the measures, said that to millennials legalizing cannabis is not controversial and the industry would help drive a “Made in Minnesota” economy.
Applebaum’s proposal would permit adults 21 and older to buy, use, and possess up to one ounce of cannabis; regulating cultivation, harvesting, and retail sales. It would take effect in 2019.
“Eventually this is going to happen. And it would be in Minnesota’s best interest if we start talking about it now,” he said in the report. “I envision an economy being created where cannabis products are grown by Minnesota farmers, transported by Minnesota carriers, and sold by Minnesota small businesses.”
The second bill, sponsored by Rep. Tina Liebling, would legalize the industry via a constitutional amendment.
Under current Minnesota law, patients suffering from several debilitating health conditions are allowed to use medical cannabis, however the program does not permit for full plant use. In December, the state Department of Health added post-traumatic stress disorder to the qualifying condition list.
However, due to the limited nature of the program, medical cannabis operators in the state lost more than $5 million in 2015, and the Office of Medical Cannabis has requested more than $500,000 in additional funding over the next two years to cover the costs of the patient database and manufacturer inspections.