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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL)

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Be Heard on Cannabis Update

Monday, February 10, 2020

New Logo - Be Heard on Cannabis


Dear neighbor,

After 15 conversations in 15 Minnesota communities over the past 6 months, we heard Minnesotans of all walks of life describe how our current approach to cannabis isn't working. It's unaffordable for people who rely on the medical program and want to get it legally, yet there is a vast illegal market that tens of thousands of Minnesotans access every month. I plan to introduce a robust cannabis legalization bill early in session, which will be guided by the principles Minnesotans have shared with us. 


Last week, we held a press conference to announce what those principles will be:

Regulated Cannabis Marketplace 

  • Transparent governance structure that allows for equitable, safe, and effective administration of cannabis law
  • Moving from illicit to legal market
  • Establish a market that creates opportunities for inclusive economic growth with an emphasis on communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis laws and incorporate social equity
  • Promote a Minnesota-grown industry that has safeguards in place to prevent “big cannabis” from taking over the marketplace
  • Safety for individuals, communities, and the environment

Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform 

  • Do the least possible harm
  • Criminalization is a last resort
  • Address past harms
  • Understandability and adaptability 
  • Racial equity

Public Health and Youth Access Prevention 

  • Improve public health and safety
  • Prevent youth access through evidence-based education and regulation
  • Improve and maintain a clear role for the Medical Cannabis Program

Economic Development and Workforce Standards

  • Provide economic opportunity and restorative justice for communities in Minnesota most harmed by the prohibition of cannabis
  • Protect Minnesota-owned small business owners and employees by supporting safe, secure, and good paying jobs
  • Develop fair and reasonable workplace standards
  • Create a cannabis industry in Minnesota that provides for long term access and promotes self-sustainability


You can read coverage from the press conference below:

  • Bring Me The News: DFL leader reveals plan for marijuana legalization in Minnesota
  • Associated Press: Minnesota Democratic Lawmakers to Push for Legal Marijuana
  • WCCO: Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler Talks Cannabis Legalization
  • Fox9: Not if, but when: Democratic legislators outline plan to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota


ICYMI: I wrote a column for the Minnesota Reformer about some of the problems with our current system, and how creating a robust regulatory framework for adult-use cannabis is the best way to address Minnesotans' concerns. 

Are you on Facebook? If so, you can follow my page to receive real-time news and updates from the Capitol. If you have friends, neighbors, or coworkers who are interested in following our effort to legalize cannabis, let them know about my page by sharing it on your profile.  

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions and suggestions! 


Ryan Winkler 
Majority Leader