Watch Live: Minnesota House Votes On Marijuana Legalization Bill - Grow Life 420

Watch Live: Minnesota House Votes On Marijuana Legalization Bill

May 13, 2021

#KahliBuds #MMJ #CBD #THC

The Minnesota House of Representatives is set to take up a bill to legalize marijuana on Thursday—the culmination of a push from top lawmakers that has seen 12 committees vote to advance the reform proposal to the floor.

The legislation was introduced in February by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) and other lawmakers. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to eight plants, four of which could be mature.

The legislation is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled body, though more than a dozen amendments have been pre-filed for the debate.

Watch the House debate the marijuana legalization bill below. Lawmakers are expected to hold a press conference prior to the start of the session: 

While the governor supports enacting the policy change, the bill will face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate if it clears the House. Lawmakers in that chamber have signaled that they’d be more inclined to take up proposals to expand the state’s medical marijuana program than end prohibition altogether.

However, Winkler said that, if the Senate does take his legalization bill up for vote, he expects it would pass. And at the very least, the momentum could encourage Republican members to take up more modest reforms, he told Marijuana Moment in an interview on Tuesday.

Gaining GOP support in committee has involved adopting friendly amendments such as putting some cannabis tax revenue toward tax relief. More amendments have been filed ahead of the floor vote, so there will likely be considerable discussion around those proposals.

There are just weeks left to advance the bill through the full legislation ahead of the May 17 session end.

Before reaching the floor, the bill passed the Ways and Means CommitteeTaxes CommitteeHealth Finance and Policy CommitteePublic Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy CommitteeEducation Finance CommitteeState Government Finance and Elections CommitteeJudiciary Finance and Civil Law CommitteeEnvironment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy CommitteeAgriculture Finance and Policy CommitteeWorkforce and Business Development Finance and Policy CommitteeLabor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee and Commerce Finance and Policy Committee.

Winkler’s bill as it introduced was identical to a proposal he filed last year, with some minor technical changes. The leader, who led a statewide listening to gather public input ahead of the measure’s introduction, called it the “best legalization bill in the country” at the time. It did not advance in that session, however.

Under the measure, social equity would be prioritized, in part by ensuring diverse licensing and preventing the market from being monopolized by corporate players. Prior marijuana records would also be automatically expunged.

On-site consumption and cannabis delivery services would be permitted under the bill. And unlike in many legal states, local municipalities would be banned from prohibiting marijuana businesses from operating in their areas.

Retail cannabis sales would be taxed at 10 percent. Part of that revenue would fund a grant program designed to promote economic development and community stability.

The bill calls for the establishment of a seven-person Cannabis Management Board, which would be responsible for regulating the market and issuing cannabis business licenses. It was amended in committee month to add members to that board who have a social justice background.

People living in low-income neighborhoods and military veterans who lost honorable status due to a cannabis-related offense would be considered social equity applicants eligible for priority licensing.

Cannabis retails sales would launch on December 31, 2022.

Gov. Tim Walz (D) is also in favor of ending marijuana prohibition, and in January he called on lawmakers to pursue the reform as a means to boost the economy and promote racial justice. He did not include a request to legalize through his budget proposal, however.

Walz did say in 2019 that he was directing state agencies to prepare to implement reform in anticipation of legalization passing.

Winkler, meanwhile, said in December that if Senate Republicans don’t go along with the policy change legislatively, he said he hopes they will at least let voters decide on cannabis as a 2022 ballot measure.

Heading into the 2020 election, Democrats believed they had a shot of taking control of the Senate, but that didn’t happen. The result appears to be partly due to the fact that candidates from marijuana-focused parties in the state earned a sizable share of votes that may have otherwise gone to Democrats, perhaps inadvertently hurting the chances of reform passing.

In December, the Minnesota House Select Committee On Racial Justice adopted a report that broadly details race-based disparities in criminal enforcement and recommends a series of policy changes, including marijuana decriminalization and expungements.

Nebraska Activists Relaunch Medical Marijuana Ballot Campaign After Legislative Filibuster Blocks Bill

The post Watch Live: Minnesota House Votes On Marijuana Legalization Bill appeared first on Marijuana Moment.



Kyle Jaeger, KahliBuds, 420GrowLife

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