ST. PAUL (WJON News) - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed a bill to legalize cannabis and provide for the expungement of cannabis convictions.

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Chapter 63, House File 100 legalizes adult-use cannabis and establishes a new Office of Cannabis Management to regulate the new industry. The law also directs the expungement or resentencing of cannabis-related convictions. The bill includes a 10% tax on recreational cannabis.

At the signing, Governor Walz said the legalization of marijuana was a long time coming.

We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked. By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe. Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.

Beginning August 1st, the bill would permit a person age 21 or older  to:

  • possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in a public place or 2 pounds in a person’s residence;
  • possess or transport no more than 8 grams of adult-use cannabis concentrate;
  • possess or transport edible products infused with up to 800 milligrams of THC;
  • give away cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in an amount that is legal for a person to possess in public;
  • use cannabis flower and cannabinoid products in private areas; and
  • cultivate up to eight cannabis plants, of which four or fewer may be mature, flowering plants.

State officials would begin on August 1st to expunge the criminal records of those with misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor marijuana convictions.  Those with more serious offenses could appeal to a special board.

Bill sponsors say it would be 8 to 18 months before licensed dispensaries begin operation.

Cities could limit the number of cannabis dispensaries within their boundaries, with a minimum of one dispensary per 12,500 population.

Cannabis would be taxed at 10 percent.

The bill also includes grants for cannabis growers, substance use treatment, recovery, and prevention, and communities that have disproportionately suffered the effects of cannabis prohibition.

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