It’s happening! All signs seem to show that 2023 cannabis legalization in our home state of Minnesota is a matter of “when,” not “if,” which would make us the 22nd state to reach full legalization status. After the somewhat surprising legalization of THC beverages and edibles in 2022, the DFL-controlled MN legislature seems intent on settling the cannabis debate once and for all.
With the rather sudden appearance of this new legislation, you may be left wondering exactly what’s on the table and what it could mean moving forward. And assuming you don’t want to dig into the 243-page bill on your own, we’ve put together a handy guide to cover the most important details.
WHAT’S BEING CONSIDERED IN THE MN LEGALIZATION BILL?
In short: cannabis legalization in Minnesota. More specifically, the current bill (HF 100) would legalize the possession and use of cannabis and derivative products for all individuals age 21 or older. Here are the highlights:
- Legalizes possession and gifting of cannabis flower product (i.e., marijuana): up to 2 oz in public and up to 5 lbs in private dwelling
- Legalizes cannabis/hemp derivatives (resins, oils, etc.) and cannabis-infused products
- Expunges prior marijuana offense records automatically
- Allows for home cultivation of cannabis plants
- Allows for private and city/county operation of legal dispensaries
- Prohibits individual municipalities from banning cannabis sale outright
- Legalizes cannabis-related paraphernalia
- Establishes an Office of Cannabis Management for oversight and regulation
- Bans synthetic cannabinoids, in accordance with 2022 Board of Pharmacy rules
WILL IT PASS?
It certainly looks like it. A similar bill passed the DFL-controlled House in 2019, and the party now controls both legislative chambers. DFL lawmakers are hoping to garner bipartisan support for what seems to be common-sense legislation, but even a straight vote down party lines is enough to get it across the finish line. Governor Walz has also indicated that he’s ready to sign the bill as soon as it’s passed in the MN House and Senate.
WHEN WILL THEY VOTE?
Sometime this year, most likely. It’s tough to say right now, because a bill this comprehensive needs to be carefully reviewed by almost every legislative committee. However, bill author Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) is still confident that “2023 will be the year.” The current legislative session ends in May, and the bill’s passage is a priority for many lawmakers.
DOES THE BILL REVERSE ANYTHING ABOUT LAST YEAR’S THC LEGALIZATION?
Nope. Last year’s legalization of THC beverages and edibles just gets rolled into this larger legalization bill. In fact, this more comprehensive approach should help eliminate a lot of confusion by closing existing loopholes about who can sell what and where.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR HEMP-DERIVED THC EDIBLES?
The newly established Office of Cannabis Management would be responsible for defining and regulating “certified hemp,” or hemp that meets strict safety and quality requirements. Fortunately, all Verist products are already tested independently and derived exclusively from our single-origin, high-quality organic hemp—so the new standards shouldn’t affect us at all. That’s why choosing Verist products—the only THC and CBD products made from hemp grown on a fourth-generation MN family farm—will help ensure you don’t see any interruption in benefits from your THC or CBD regimen if and when new legislation takes effect.
WILL VERIST CONTINUE SELLING ITS CURRENT PRODUCTS?
Of course! As a Minnesota family farm-grown brand, we couldn’t be more excited about the legalization effort, as it will allow us to expand our current product lineup more quickly, freely and efficiently. Particularly with THC, producing products derived from marijuana plants rather than hemp plants is more sustainable, energy-efficient and cost-effective, so we’re all for it. One thing to note: the current legislation will require a small surcharge on all cannabis products. We can’t say for sure what that will mean in terms of prices, but if you want to stock up on your favorite Verist products at the current price, now’s the time!
Questions about the MN legalization bill, or anything else related to THC, CBD or hemp? Feel free to drop us a line.