Watch CBS News

Director controversy, legal challenge make for rocky start for Minnesota's Office of Cannabis Management

The push to legalize selling homegrown cannabis
The push to legalize selling homegrown cannabis 02:28

MINNEAPOLIS — The process of setting up the Office of Cannabis Management in Minnesota has gotten off to a rocky start.

The agency's new director withdrew after a day over allegations her company had sold cannabis products that are not legal. There is also a legal effort to declare cannabis sales legal now because of an historic clause in the state constitution.

Marijuana may now be legal for personal use in Minnesota, but according to the new state law, it's not supposed to be legal to sell until the new state agency the Office of Cannabis Management is up and running and that wont be until early 2025. 

That office is barely off the ground and already having problems. The newly appointed director of the Office of Cannabis Management, Erin Dupree, was forced to withdraw after one day. 

And then there is the argument that selling cannabis should be legal right now in Minnesota because of an obscure clause in the Minnesota Constitution. That clause, adopted in 1906, is Article 13, section 7, which says, "Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor." The advocacy group Marijuana for Minnesota has begun the process of a legal challenge to make the sale of homegrown marijuana legal immediately because of that constitutional clause. 

A member of the group Marijuana for Minnesota was on WCCO Sunday Morning at 10:30 a.m.

"What we are going to be doing is taking this before a judge and asking the judge to give the opinion because right now Minnesotans are in peril. People that bought seeds on Aug. 1, some of those seeds can be harvested in 60 days. So maybe they can pay the electric bill if it's legal, maybe they can do the mortgage," Eric Rech said.

So far state authorities have not addressed this constitutional clause. Gov. Tim Walz was asked about it at a news conference. The governor indicated it was not the legislature's intent to legalize marijuana sales immediately, but to instead wait for another 18 months until the Office of Cannabis Management is up and running. But groups like Marijuana for Minnesota say they will continue to push their constitutional argument in court. A final decision will likely be made by the Minnesota Supreme Court. 

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Adam Del Rosso every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.