Legal marijuana passes House and Senate, heads to Walz for approval into law

Both the Minnesota House and Senate have officially passed a bill that will legalize recreational marijuana for adult use throughout the state. Now it heads to the desk of Governor Tim Walz for approval into law.

Passing the Senate by a party-line vote of 34-32, after passing the House before it 73-57 on Thursday, the historic passage has been a long time coming for marijuana enthusiasts.

The bill previously went through a conference committee to iron out the details, which lawmakers finished on Tuesday. 

The final agreement will tax users on top of a state tax by 10 percent — with 80 percent going to fund the Office of Cannabis Management, which will oversee licensure of dispensaries. Licenses likely won’t be doled out for another 12-16 months as the office determines additional parameters for which establishments can be granted them. 

The remaining 20 percent will benefit local governments, which will be tasked with overseeing enforcement.

Although still illegal under federal law, Minnesota residents over the age of 21 will no longer be penalized by the state for possessing up to 2 pounds at home, and 2 ounces elsewhere. Public consumption will still not be allowed, and could be ticked as a misdemeanor, similar to other states.

Walz has previously said if the bill passes the Minnesota Legislature, he will sign it into law.