Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz, today reiterated his promise to sign a marijuana legalization bill that arrived at his desk on Saturday. That will make Minnesota, which legalized medical marijuana in 2014, the 23rd state to allow recreational use.
The Minnesota House and Senate, both of which are controlled by Democrats, had previously approved slightly different legalization bills. H.F. 100, which both chambers passed last week, reconciles those differences.
Adults 21 or older will be allowed to possess two ounces or less of marijuana in public, share that amount with other adults, keep two pounds or less at home, and grow up to eight plants, four of which are mature. Those provisions take effect on August 1.
The bill also establishes an Office of Cannabis Management to license and regulate commercial production and distribution. Marijuana products will be subject to a 10 percent retail tax, in addition to standard state and local sales taxes (which total about 8 percent in Minneapolis, for example). Local governments will be allowed to regulate retailers and cap their number but will not be allowed to ban them entirely. Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL–Coon Rapids), a co-author of the bill, said licensed sales should begin in 12 to 18 months.