Military veterans included in Minnesota’s social equity cannabis law

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Military veterans in Minnesota will qualify as social equity applicants for cannabis licenses under changes to the state’s legislation that still requires the signature of Gov. Tim Walz.

More than 327,000 veterans in the state will be able to apply for licenses, which previously were reserved for those who had been convicted of cannabis offenses and their relatives as well as individuals living in low-income communities, according to nonprofit news outlet Minnesota Reformer.

Qualified social equity license applicants previously included veterans with disabilities, members of the National Guard and veterans who were demoted because of cannabis-related offenses.

Lawmakers aim to give social equity applicants priority access to the market when adult-use stores open, potentially as early as spring 2025.

The law also includes:

  • Changes to eligibility for medical marijuana patients; doctors would be able to authorize MMJ for any condition.
  • A limited number of cultivation, manufacturing and retail licenses.
  • Lottery-awarded licenses instead of points-based issuances.
  • Allowing bars to sell THC-infused and alcoholic drinks to the same customer if they aren’t visibly impaired.

Adult-use cannabis already is available on tribal lands in the state.