Minnesota’s Second Attempt at Marijuana Legalization


Feb. 21 2020, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in Minnesota. However, marijuana still isn’t legal at the federal level. The Senate rejected a proposal to legalize cannabis last year. Lawmakers did a survey in September to understand voters’ stance on cannabis legalization. Recently, lawmakers stated that they will present another bill for marijuana legalization in the state.

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Second attempt at marijuana legalization

According to a Marijuana Moment article, a Minnesota lawmaker said that he will present a bill to legalize marijuana in the state within two weeks.

Recently, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler and Senate member Jeff Hayden also conducted a statewide tour to understand public views. The survey results showed that the public thinks that marijuana prohibition has done more harm than good.

However, they don’t think that it will be easy to introduce a bill and get it approved in the state. Minnesota has a Republican-controlled Senate. Republicans opposed marijuana legalization in other states. The Republican-controlled Senate already rejected a marijuana legalization bill that the state introduced last year in March. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said, “legalization is not good for Minnesota.” As a result, the latest bill will be challenged.

Minnesota seems ready for legalization

Despite the challenges that the state might face, Minnesota seems ready. Notably, the state has full support from the voters. The state’s survey in September determined the public’s stance on legalization. The House Survey, which had 11,200 participants, showed that 56% of the voters favor legalization. Meanwhile, the Senate survey, which had 6,900 participants, showed that 55% of the voters favor legalization.

Benjamin Feist, a member of the MRMR steering committee and the chief program strategy officer at the state’s ACLU chapter, thinks that the state is ready. He said, “Minnesota is indeed ready. It’s time for a thoughtful, responsible legalization of adult-use marijuana.”

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The bill will keep taxes and regulations minimal to combat the illicit market. Also, the bill will prioritize to help small businesses and promote home cultivation. Last year, Governor Tim Walz said, “My agencies have been tasked to put all of the building blocks in place, from Revenue to the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health. We will have everything ready to go, and we will be able to implement it in Minnesota the minute the Legislature moves this.”

In other news, cannabis stocks got a boost after Canopy Growth’s (NYSE:CGC)(TSE:WEED) impressive revenue growth in its third-quarter earnings results. Aurora Cannabis’s earnings impacted the sector this month. Canopy Growth stock closed with a gain of 2.4% on Thursday, while Aurora Cannabis stock fell by 1.7%. Cronos Group rose by 0.69%, and Aphria rose by 0.71%. Meanwhile, OrganiGram (NASDAQ:OGI) and Hexo (TSE:HEXO) closed with gains of 1.0% and 1.1% on Thursday.


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