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On 4/20, Minnesota state rep. says House vote on legalized cannabis has been scheduled

Minnesota House to vote Monday on bill to legalize marijuana
Minnesota House to vote Monday on bill to legalize marijuana 00:49

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minnesota lawmaker said Thursday the state House will vote on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana on Monday.

The announcement from Rep. Zack Stephenson, the bill's author, came -- quite aptly -- on 4/20, a day typically associated with the enjoyment of cannabis.

"Big news! My bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota has been scheduled for a vote in the MN House on Monday," Stephenson said. "We're very close to getting this done and gaining momentum every day!"

The move marks a significant step forward for the 300-page proposal that's been heard in a whopping 16 committees, and has seen several changes along the way.

In addition to legalizing cannabis use, the bill would establish an Office of Cannabis Management, establish licensure for cannabis businesses and apply sales tax to marijuana purchases.

People eager to cash in would apply for state licenses to operate cannabis businesses, from cultivation to manufacturing of products to retail dispensaries. To get that up and running will take at least a year, but Minnesotans would be allowed have weed for personal use, with limits, starting as early as this summer.

That's also when another key part of the bill would kick in: automatic expungement of low-level cannabis convictions. There would be a board to consider resentencing or expungement of felonies.

READ MORE: The business of marijuana: What would it look like if Minnesota passes a law legalizing it?

If passed, Minnesota would become the 22nd state to legalize marijuana. A recent CBS News poll shows a majority of Americans don't just support legalization, they believe using it out in the open is socially acceptable.

Minnesota Democrats vowed, after taking control of the legislature in November's elections, to legalize marijuana this session. Republicans and some law enforcement officials have expressed concern over legal marijuana in the state. 

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday continued to show his support, saying he's ready to sign it into law. 

In 2021, the Minnesota House passed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana, but it failed in the then Republican-controlled Senate.

The current Senate has been keeping pace with the House, but there's still one more committee stop next week.

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