Minnesota GOP Calls for Special Session Days Before Recreational Marijuana Use Becomes Legal

Possession and use of cannabis by adults becomes legal in the state on Tuesday.

Twenty Republican state lawmakers in Minnesota sent a letter to the Democratic governor this week urging him to call a “narrowly tailored special session to address several glaring issues” in advance of recreational marijuana possession and use becoming legal on Tuesday.

The GOP group alleged in a letter to the governor, the speaker of the House, and the Senate Majority Leader that the Democratic bill that legalized adult-use cannabis sales “effectively legalized marijuana for children,” Fox 9 KMSP reported.

Although the full recreational market won’t launch until next year at the earliest – state regulators still must develop a new licensing process – at least one Native American tribe has indicated its plans to begin selling recreational marijuana on Aug. 1 when possession becomes legal, a move that apparently has the blessing of Gov. Tim Walz.

The GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to Walz that there are three main issues they believe still need to be fixed. They want:

  • Cannabis use penalties for those under 21 to be reinstated to discourage youth use.
  • Local governments to have more power to prohibit cannabis commerce and consumption.
  • To “close the black market loophole” that is expected to begin when possession and use is legal but formal sales are not.

“These are basic, responsible steps that can be taken now to avoid larger problems in the future,” the lawmakers wrote to Walz, arguing that waiting until the legislature reconvenes in February will be too late.

The governor’s office did not immediately comment on the letter, Fox 9 KMSP reported.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

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