Minnesota 23rd State in the Union to legalize recreational marijuana

Governor Tim Walz signed legislation yesterday making Minnesota the 23rd State in the Union to legalize recreational cannabis.

The bill would decriminalize marijuana use and possession on August 1.

The legislation also promises automatic expungement for petty marijuana convictions and establishes systems to review higher-level marijuana convictions on a case-by-case basis.

“We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked. By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe,” said Governor Walz.

“Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”

In a bill signing ceremony Tuesday, former governor Jesse Ventura was in attendance and answered media questions.

Ventura is a longtime supporter of legalized marijuana, writing a book called The Marijuana Manifesto, released in 2016.

Retail sales for recreational marijuana aren’t expected until the first quarter of 2025, but the legislation joins 10 other states in allowing Minnesotans to grow their own plants.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions issued an advisory due to marijuana still being illegal under federal law.

“Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition,” said ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Reed, of the St. Paul Field Division.

“As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the State of Minnesota.”

The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits any person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Find details on possession limits, expungement, and more on Minnesota’s new cannabis website.

Read the full advisory from ATF here.

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