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RELEASE: Rep. Jess Hanson Applauds House Passage of Adult-Use Cannabis Legislation

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed adult-use cannabis legislation, co-authored by Rep. Jess Hanson (DFL - Burnsville). The bill provides a comprehensive framework to legalize adult-use cannabis for Minnesotans aged 21 or older, expunge criminal records from non-violent cannabis regulations, and regulate a new marketplace. The legislation allows a person to use, possess, and transport cannabis and cannabis products with some limitations. Included in the framework of this bill is an updated approach to regulate the wide range of cannabis and hemp products. The bill passed on a bipartisan vote of 71-59.

“Minnesota is ready for a legal, regulated cannabis market,” said Rep. Hanson. “I saw the harms of prohibition ravaging our communities across Minnesota, and Black and Brown Minnesotans were disproportionately harmed by the ‘war on drugs.' I've been a leader in this movement for years, and today I was proud to vote for this bill with bipartisan support.”

Current cannabis prohibition laws are not preventing cannabis use. Cannabis use in adult populations continues to rise, and attitudes toward prohibition have shifted drastically in the last decade. A Minnesota Public Radio poll in 2020 found a majority of Minnesotans support cannabis legalization. 

“A responsibly regulated cannabis market is safer than an underground one. This approach will address legitimate concerns around youth access, public health, and road safety,” said Rep. Hanson. “Our system provides resources for regulators, law enforcement, and public health officials to shield youth under 21 from cannabis. In addition, we have additional resources in the bill for drug recognition experts to help protect our roads and funding for additional addiction and recovery resources. And we will pay for these things with a modest level of taxation on the cannabis industry itself.”

The Senate’s companion bill is moving through its committee process. Video of the floor session will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube Channel