Cannabis law attorney speaks on new Minnesota law
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KVRR) — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz makes it official by signing a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.
“The adult use marijuana market is gonna create hundreds if not thousands of jobs projected to be a one billion dollar industry in Minnesota itself. It’s a pretty exciting time. We’re creating an industry, moving it from the illicit market into the light. There will always be challenges with that. I’m sure there will be ways we can improve on this bill but it’s a pretty good first shot,” says Attorney Jason Tarasek.
Minnesota is now the 23rd state to legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older.
Under the new law, Minnesotans could possess up to two ounces of cannabis in public and up to two pounds at home starting in August.
Tarasek says the state legislature will take a close look at what has worked in other legal states and what has not.
“We’re doing our best to create a new industry here in Minnesota that builds on successes of other states but tries to avoid some of the failures. We’re keeping the tax rate low. And we’re not allowing the local government to opt out. Each of those are intentionally done to ensure that the end product is not so expensive.”
Starting August 1st, state officials will begin to expunge criminal records of those with misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor marijuana convictions.
Higher level offenses will be considered by a review board.
However, the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension estimates that it will take until August 2024 to process all cases.
Tarasek says the state’s next legislative session will clear up any confusion of the law.
“I think we’re allowing up to eight plants for home grow but yet the personal possession limit is two pounds. I think those two ideas are incongruent. I think if you’re growing eight plants you will have much more than two pounds. So, that’s one thing we might need to revisit. I could tell you that our legislators are already working on what they’re calling a Cannabis Cleanup Bill.”
The legislation also sets up an Office of Cannabis Management which will oversee the regulation and sale of cannabis products in the state.