On April 25, 2023, the Minnesota House passed House File 100 (HF100), a bill authorizing adult-use cannabis, by a vote of 71-59. Three days later, the Minnesota Senate passed Senate File 73 (SF73), a companion bill to HF100, on a strict party-line vote of 34-33. Following the Senate vote, HF100 and SF73 entered reconciliation, a process that concluded Tuesday evening at 11:47 p.m., at which time the Conference Committee released the final, reconciled text of the bill (Final Bill). These developments are the culmination of several previous attempts by prior legislatures to legalize recreational cannabis in Minnesota and the passage of last year’s omnibus spending bill that, among other things, legalized the sale of certain low-potency cannabis products (generally those with a concentration of delta-9 THC under 0.3% on a dry weight basis) for recreational use.
The Final Bill now heads back to the House and Senate for a vote before the legislative session adjourns on May 22, 2023. If the Final Bill secures similar support as HF100 and SF73, meaning at least 68 votes in the House and 34 votes in the Senate, then the Final Bill will proceed to the desk of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. Upon Governor Walz’s signature — which is widely expected — Minnesota would become the 23rd state of the nation to legalize recreational cannabis use.
Minnesota has followed the national trend among states authorizing adult consumption of cannabis by parlaying legalization into law after years of permitting the medical use of cannabis through highly regulated medical marijuana programs. The Final Bill, among other things, proposes to:
- combine the state’s medical cannabis law, first enacted in 2014 and amended in seven subsequent legislative sessions, to expand qualifying medical conditions4 with the adult-use legislation into a single statute,
- permit a medical cannabis retailer to hold a recreational retailer license and
- regulate edibles created from the hemp plant
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