Gov. Walz signs recreational marijuana bill into law Tuesday

(ABC 6 News) – Possibly the most talked about bill during this year’s legislative session, the recreational marijuana bill, was signed into law on Tuesday.

Governor Tim Walz was joined by state lawmakers and other advocates, including former Governor Jesse Ventura, for the bill-signing ceremony.

“We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked. By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe,” said Governor Walz. “Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”

The bill made it through 13 committees at the Legislature, as well as numerous hearings and a conference committee before the session ended last week, and was one of the DFL’s biggest priorities going into the year.

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Once it takes effect on Aug. 1, the legislation will allow Minnesotans who are 21 and older to have up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrate and 800 milligrams of edible products, as well as up to two pounds of cannabis flower at a private residence.

Lawmakers agreed on a 10% tax for marijuana products.

The other big part of the legislation is the expungement of past misdemeanor marijuana-related convictions for Minnesotans. However, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) estimates it will take until August of 2024 to erase all of those convictions.

Because of the complexity of everything in the legislation and the work it will take to set up the new Office of Cannabis Management, certain parts will take some time. Lawmakers say the goal is for all of the expungements to be done by the end of the year or next spring, and retail marijuana sales aren’t expected to start until the first quarter of 2025.

The bill also includes grants for cannabis growers; substance use treatment, recovery, and prevention; and communities that have disproportionately suffered the effects of cannabis prohibition.

The state’s Office of Cannabis Management website is already active and has more information for Minnesotans here.

Watch the bill signing ceremony below from Twin Cities ABC affiliate, KSTP-TV.