Minnesota House OKs adult-use marijuana; Senate passage unlikely

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In a historic vote, Minnesota House lawmakers approved an adult-use marijuana market, but the state Senate is unlikely to consider the measure before the legislative session ends May 17.

House lawmakers voted 72-61 in favor of the bill, HF 600, after five hours of debate late Thursday.

The measure includes provisions such as training and startup funds for social equity applicants as well as funding for disadvantaged communities.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a Republican, has made it clear he has no intention of bringing the measure up for a vote before the legislative session ends.

But Gazelka has said he is open to expanding the state’s restrictive medical marijuana industry.

A measure to allow smokable flower is considered to have a good chance of passing, which could substantially boost MMJ sales in the state.

The adult-use measure had an arduous path to Thursday’s successful House vote.

The effort was the culmination of 15 community meetings across the state, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, and 12 House committees held public hearings before advancing the measure.

Before this legislative session, adult-use legislation in Minnesota had been heard only once in the state Senate, according to the Star Tribune.