FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 14, 2021
Contact: Violet Cavendish
Minnesota House Advances Bill to Legalize Cannabis
Saint Paul, MN — Today, Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted in favor (72-61) of HF 600, a bill that would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over. This marks the first time a legalization bill has been considered by the full House in the state.
The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL), would legalize possession and cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis, while setting up an equitable, regulated system for cannabis sales. It includes funding for community renewal along with cannabis industry training and start-up funding. The grants would focus on individuals facing barriers to education or employment, areas with elevated rates of poverty, workers with less than three years of experience, and farmers.
While polling shows Minnesotans strongly support legalizing cannabis, HF 600 faces stark odds in the Senate. Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) has said the Republican caucus is strongly opposed.
To date, 18 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over.
Statement from Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“Minnesotans have suffered far too long under prohibition. Rather than continuing to waste resources on enforcing this failed policy, the Senate should heed the will of the voters and pass legislation to legalize cannabis for adults. Legalization would create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue, and it would reduce unnecessary stops, searches, and arrests that unfairly and unequally target Black Minnesotans.”
Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.