At least two more states this year will consider legalizing cannabis in some form.
And in South Carolina late last month, Republican lawmakers pre-filed two bills – H 3226, the Put Patients First Act, and H 3486, the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, both of which would legalize marijuana for medical uses.
While it’s unclear whether the South Carolina push will succeed, Democrats in Minnesota now control the entirety of state government – the state House, state Senate and governor’s mansion – giving that bill decent political odds. A similar measure passed the Minnesota House last year but was killed in the GOP-led Senate.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz also tweeted his support for the bill and pledged to sign it.
It's time to legalize adult-use cannabis and expunge cannabis convictions in Minnesota. I’m ready to sign it into law.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) January 5, 2023
The Minnesota bill would also attempt to rein in the state’s loosely regulated hemp edibles market, which launched last year after a controversial bill passed the legislature. That measure allowed practically any retailer in the state to sell edibles with up to 50 milligrams of THC as long as it was derived from hemp.
The South Carolina Legislature convenes Jan. 10, and both of the bills have been referred to the House Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs for hearings.
If the measures succeed, it would bring the number of states with legal medical marijuana markets to 38, and the number of recreational markets to 22.