Minnesota House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) introduced an adult-use cannabis legalization bill May 5 after months of public discussions on how to approach legalization in the state, according to a KSTP.com report.
The legislation would create a regulatory structure with the goal of establishing a craft market with micro-businesses, the news outlet reported, and the bill also includes a home grow provision.
The proposal allows for the expungement of past cannabis-related convictions, and provides funding for public health awareness, youth access prevention, and substance abuse addiction and treatment. Small businesses would also have access to grants, loans, technical assistance and training under the legislation, according to KSTP.com.
“Minnesotans have been loud and clear that our current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good,” Winkler told the news outlet. “By creating a regulatory framework, we can address the harms caused by cannabis and establish a more sensible set of laws to improve our health care and criminal justice systems and ensure better outcomes for communities.”
Winkler’s bill is the result of a series of “Be Heard on Cannabis” discussions that he hosted around the state last year to gather public input on legalization.
While Gov. Tim Walz has been largely supportive of cannabis policy reform in the state, Winkler’s bill could face opposition from Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, and the legislation is up against a deadline of May 18, when the current legislative session comes to a close.
Last year, a Senate committee ultimately rejected a legalization bill, and even blocked a proposal that would have created a task force to study the issue.