Minesotta citizens can now legally purchase adult use cannabis after the state enacted a bill that was signed into law on 30 May, 2023.
Governor Tim Walz signed the legislation, which came into effect on 1 August, 2023, making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalise adult-use cannabis.
Under the new law, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) willl regulate cannabis for both medical and adult use, as well as lower-potency hemp edibles, and will be responsible for issuing licenses and developing regulations.
Speaking at the time of signing the legislation, Governor Walz stated: “We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked. By legalising adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe.
“Legalising adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”
While retails sales are not expected to begin for another year, tribal nations are able to set their own rules, and the Red Lake reservation’s Tribal council voted to begin sales to tribal and non-tribal members, as reported by The Minnestoa Reformer.
The move has seen the Red Lake reservation have the first operational dispensary in the state – NativeCare – which made the first adult use cannabis sale in the state on 1 August.
Executive Director of Oshkiimaajitahdah – the entity that oversees tribal programmes including NativeCare – Jerry Loud, told the publication: “This is going to be a huge economic driver for the reservation. We went from seed to sale in less than two years, and we are right there with Vireo and LeafLine.”
A second tribal nation, White Earth, is now planning to open a dispensary soon.
Deputy Director of cannabis advocacy group NORML, Paul Armentano, stated: “Nearly half of all Americans now reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal. To date, no state has moved to either curtail or repeal these legalisation laws.
“That’s because these policies are working largely as voters and lawmakers intended and they are clearly preferable to criminal marijuana prohibition.”