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Why can Minnesotans soon have up to 2 pounds of marijuana?

Good Question: Why will Minnesotans be allowed up to 2 pounds of cannabis?
Good Question: Why will Minnesotans be allowed up to 2 pounds of cannabis? 02:49

CANNON FALLS, Minn. – When Minnesota's recreational marijuana law kicks in, not only will residents be allowed to smoke weed – they'll also have the highest possession limit in the country.

Business is cooking at Minny Grown in Cannon Falls, where Zach Rohr is the founder and CEO.

"We create everything seed to sale. We create THC gummies, as well as THC beverages down here," Rohr said.

MORE: Planning on smoking cannabis at the Minnesota State Fair? Think again, organizers say

Fueling their products is hemp, a cannabis plant that looks and smells like marijuana, but doesn't have as much THC in it. That's the ingredient that gets people high.

Twenty-three states have legalized recreational marijuana. Some only allow 1 ounce inside homes, like California, Washington and Nevada. Colorado gets 2 ounces. It jumps to 10 ounces for Michigan, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The next highest from there? Minnesota: 2 pounds, or 32 ounces.


So why is Minnesota allowing possession up to 2 pounds? WCCO News asked that question to DFL Sen. Lindsey Port, the chief author of the State Senate's legalization bill.

MORE: ATF says until recreational cannabis is federally legalized, pot users cannot own guns

"We wanted to decriminalize as much as possible, but we also wanted to make sure that we had an ability to control the illicit market," Port said. "We wanted to make sure you were allowed to possess the amount that you could grow."

Rohr says one marijuana plant, grown well, could yield half a pound of weed.

Minnesota allows a person to grow up to eight plants, with four maturing – thus yielding up to 2 pounds.

"I would say 99% of consumers aren't gonna be holding on to 2 pounds of cannabis for their personal use," Rohr said.

That leaves Rohr worried that people holding 2 pounds might sell it illegally.

MORE: Recreational marijuana is now signed into law: Here's what the new law will do

"We've looked at other states and what we've learned is it's not so much how much you can possess that really allowed the illicit market to continue," Port said.

She says higher tax rates on legal weed, making it more expensive than the black market, and cities or counties banning the sale were most influential in allowing illegal sales to thrive.

In states where growing weed is legal, growers can keep their entire harvest, even if it's higher than the state's legal possession limit.

Minnesota will allow adults to have up to 2 pounds at home whether you grow or not, but you'll only be allowed to carry 2 ounces on you in public.

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