Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed by 15th House Committee, Sent to Full House

Minnesota legislation to legalize recreational marijuana is finally heading to the House floor after being approved by its 15th committee.

Today the House Ways and Means Committee approved House Bill 100 on a voice vote, making it the 15th House committee to do so. This finally sends it to the House floor, where it is expected to receive a vote before the end of the legislative session in May.

A companion bill, SF 73, needs just two more committee votes before it can be voted on by the full Senate. The Senate Taxes Committee is expected to vote on the measure later today.

HB 100 was filed by State Representative Zack Stephenson, with SF 73 filed by Senator Lindsey Port.

Although they have been amended in slightly different ways, both bills would allow those 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to eight plants for personal use. It would establish a regulatory framework for licensed marijuana retail outlets, with a newly created Cannabis Management Office charged with overseeing the legal marijuana industry. The measure would establish an 8% marijuana excise tax, which would be added to the state’s standard 6.8% sales tax.

Under HB 100 and SF 73 past marijuana possession convictions would be automatically expunged. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would be responsible for identifying people who are eligible for relief and process the expungements.

“Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make their own decisions about cannabis—and this bill is about providing them with that opportunity”, says Representative Stephenson. “It’s time. Minnesotans are ready, Our current laws related to cannabis are doing more harm than good.”

If HB 100 and SF 73 both pass their respective chambers, a conference committee will need to be established in order to concur on amendments. If both chambers agree on the same framework for a bill, it will be sent to Governor Tim Walz for consideration.

Update: SF 73 has now been passed by the Senate Taxes Committee, allowing it to reach the Senate floor if it’s approved by one final committee (Finance). 

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