A Minnesota bill to legalize recreational marijuana has been passed by the state’s full House of Representatives by a vote of 71 to 59.
The House’s approval of HF 100 comes after the measure was passed through 15 different committees. A companion bill in the Senate (SF 73) has been passed by nearly as many committees, with the Finance Committee serving as the last stop before it can be considered by the full chamber.
Although the two measures differ slightly due to committee amendments, both would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the personal cultivation of up to eight marijuana plants for those who are at least 21 years old. Marijuana and marijuana products would be sold through licensed marijuana retail outlets, with regulations and licensing overseen by a newly created Office of Cannabis Management.
Unlike most other marijuana legalization laws, HF 100 would not allow localities to place a blanket ban on marijuana stores, with licensing handled entirely by the state. An amendment to allow cities to ban marijuana stores was rejected on the House floor by a vote of 59 to 69.
Both SF 73 and HF 100 would include an excise tax on marijuana sales. This would be in addition to the state’s standard 6.8% sales tax. However, the House-approved bill would establish an 8% tax, whereas the Senate version was amended to make the tax 10%.
Under both 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.
HB 100 was filed by State Representative Zack Stephenson, with SF 73 sponsored by Senator Lindsey Port.
If SF 73 is passed by the Senate, a conference/concurrence committee would likely be established to hash out the differences between it and HF 100. Once the bill’s are coalesced, both the House and Senate would give the legislation one final vote, sending it to Governor Tim Walz.