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Minnesota Republicans call for changes in recreational weed law days before it is legal

Minnesota Republicans express concern over recreational weed
Minnesota Republicans express concern over recreational weed 02:27

MINNEAPOLIS -- Just days before marijuana is set to become legal in Minnesota, some Republicans are asking the governor to make changes to the law.

"I'm calling for a special session because I think we need to address this sooner rather than later," said Republican Rep. Peggy Scott.

Starting Tuesday, people 21 and older can walk around with 2 ounces of the flower. At home, you can have up to 2 pounds and start growing up to eight plants.

"What is available to bring to the market on the first—what's the soonest available thing we can sell and it's seed," said Ian Davis, owner of Green Nectar Cultivation.

Using cannabis is still illegal while driving and you won't be able to smoke it anywhere you can't smoke cigarettes, like an apartment.

READ MORE: Recreational weed becomes legal in Minnesota next week: What to know

The law also says an employer can't hire or fire you based on a drug test for cannabis -- with some exceptions for jobs like first responders. 

"You are free to consume adult-use cannabis in your free time, but, of course, you may not show up to work impaired," said Jason Tarasek, cannabis attorney with Vicente LLP.

These changes are taking place while the state sets up its Office of Cannabis Management.

The only dispensary opening Tuesday is four hours north of the Twin Cities on the Red Lake Reservation.

For the rest of the state, it might take until 2025. Some Republicans say that creates a dangerous loophole.

"So we've got this period of time, this gap period of time, where, quite frankly, the black market can move right in and get established," Rep. Scott said.

In a letter to Gov. Walz, Republicans say they want to see that loophole closed and more rules to keep it away from kids.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Gov, Walz said, "It's illegal for minors to use marijuana today and it will be illegal for minors to use marijuana after this law goes into effect."

"We're not looking for a full repeal, it's going to be the law," Rep. Scott said. "What we need are guardrails, especially to protect kids. I think that's common sense. I think everybody can get their head around that."

One of the DFL authors of the bill says the calls for a special session are "outrageous" and "fearmongering."

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