In a recent success for Minnesota residents, the Governor has signed a bill legalizing marijuana. As a result, the state will allow residents to possess and cultivate marijuana legally starting on August 1st. However, it will likely take regulators 12 to 18 months to set up a licensed commercial sales system.
About the Bill
This decision marks Minnesota as the 23rd state to take this step. According to the Governor, the state would soon begin the expungement process for many people with marijuana-related conviction records. Though he warned that it would take time to set up and start, he believes learning from other states’ success will help the processing.
As Governor Walz (D) explained, “What we know right now is prohibition does not work… It’s going to take us a bit of time to get this up and going.” In addition, he wished to reassure all residents of the state’s efforts. As such, he claimed that “a lot of thought has gone into this. A lot of the things learned in other states are incorporated into how we do this, and the thoughtfulness around this legislation gives us a really good guiding principle.”
Before reaching the Governor’s desk for his signature, House Bill 100 underwent significant struggles. For example, the House and Senate had to resolve the differences between their versions. Due to the end of the legislative session drawing near, the two legislative bodies worked quickly. This efficiency allowed the Governor to sign the bill promptly.
What Does It Allow?
Once the law takes effect, people 21 years of age or older may:
- “Use, possess, or transport cannabis paraphernalia;
- Possess two ounces or less of cannabis flower in a public place;
- Possess 1.5 pounds or less of cannabis flower in a person’s residence;
- Possess or transport eight grams or less of adult-use cannabis concentrate;
- Possess or transport edible products infused with a total of 800 mg or less of tetrahydrocannabinol;
- Give away cannabis flowers and products in an amount that is legal for a person to possess in public;
- Use cannabis flower and products in private areas; and
- Cultivate up to eight cannabis plants, of which four or fewer may be mature, flowering plants.”
The law prohibits anyone from smoking cannabis flowers or products in places that do not allow smoking. This decision would enforce the Clean Indoor Air Act. It also bans people from smoking marijuana anywhere minors could inhale the smoke or vape, such as in boats or cars. In addition, anyone who sells marijuana without a license could face criminal or financial sanctions. Parties interested in learning more about the prohibitions will find the information at MN House Research.
Individuals with low-level offenses can likely expect these records to receive an automatic expungement. However, it will take time before they see these results. In the meantime, employers may continue considering the relevance of an individual’s offenses to applied positions. The best way for employers to start a second chance hiring program is to partner with a background check company experienced in this area.