SAINT PAUL, Minn. – On Friday, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in a 34-33 vote. The bill establishes a regulatory and licensing framework and makes reforms to Minnesota’s criminal justice system, including expunging low-level cannabis convictions.
“Legalizing adult personal-use cannabis is a major step forward in legal justice reform and racial equity,” said Senator Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester). “The prohibition on cannabis has been a failure, and criminal penalties have disproportionately affected BIPOC Minnesotans. This bill recognizes that historical injustice by allowing those who have been convicted of cannabis-related crimes to apply for expungement of their record. The adult-use cannabis law will also support BIPOC Minnesotans entering the cannabis industry through targeted loans and grants. After more than a dozen committee hearings and amendments from members of both parties, this is one of the most thoroughly vetted bills of this session. I am proud to support this legislation that will make Minnesota safer and fairer.”
The House of Representatives passed their legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis on April 25, and now the differences between the House and Senate bills will be worked out in conference committee.