Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older has now been passed by a dozen Senate committees.
Today the Senate Rules and Administration Committee voted to pass SF 73, making their committee the 12th to do so. The marijuana legalization bill is sponsored by Senator Lindsey Port, with a companion bill in the House (HF 100) filed by State Representative Zack Stephenson. HF 100 has passed through over a dozen committees and is nearing a vote by the full House of Representatives, but as with SF 73 it will need to pass through a couple more committees before it can be considered by its full chamber.
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. The proposed law 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.
The companion bills have been amended several times in committee, and in different ways. This means if they pass their respective chambers a conference/concurrence committee will need to be established to coalesce the changes.
“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.”
Update: HF 100 was passed today by the House Taxes Committee and re-referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.