Governor Tim Walz is calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to legalize marijuana use in Minnesota, as he proposes funds from his budget plan to launch a state authority to oversee a recreational marijuana program.
Speaking Wednesday, Governor Walz says his budget would set aside $25 million to crate the new “Cannabis Management Office.”
The office would oversee the “safe and responsible legalization of cannabis for adult use in Minnesota,” according to Walz. The office would be tasked with developing a framework for legal cannabis in Minnesota. Funds would also pay for grants for “individuals entering the legal cannabis market.”
Walz says the program would also fund substance abuse treatment and prevention, along with educational programs on the adverse health effects of cannabis use among children and pregnant women.
Walz also plans for a provision to allow for the expungement of past non violent crimes related to cannabis, along with state taxes. Walz’s budget factors in cannabis tax revenue in 2024 and 2025.
Speaking earlier on Wednesday, GOP Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller said he didn’t “see a path” to passing legalization legislation in the Senate.
Medical cannabis is already legal in Minnesota.