Minnesota Governor Proposes Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization in State Budget
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Minnesota Governor Proposes Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization in State Budget

Gov. Tim Walz calls for a tax on adult-use sales and funding for a new Cannabis Management Office, grants for business owners and education programs.

January 27, 2022

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has included an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal in his state budget that calls for a tax on adult-use sales and funding for a new Cannabis Management Office, grants for business owners and education programs, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The proposal, put forth in collaboration with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, also includes provisions that would expunge nonviolent, cannabis-related convictions, the news outlet reported.

Walz and Flanagan said during a Jan. 26 news conference on the budget proposal that cannabis prohibition has not worked for Minnesota, according to the Duluth News Tribune, and that the state should instead try to reap its economic benefits and free up law enforcement to focus on violent crime.

Adult-use legalization in the state faces strong opposition not only in the Minnesota Legislature, the news outlet reported, but also from a statewide coalition of groups including the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, and the state trucking and police associations. These organizations have announced the formation of the Minnesotans Against Marijuana Legalization.

Walz has said in the past that he would sign an adult-use legalization bill into law should one land on his desk. The Minnesota House approved adult-use legislation last year, and the bill is still active, although House Speaker Melissa Hortman told the Duluth News Tribune that she does not plan to hold additional hearings on the measure this year. Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller has said he opposes the bill, according to the news outlet.