Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz legalizes recreational cannabis for adults

The law, passed in the state Congress a week ago, will also allow people to keep up to two pounds of the plant in their homes.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday legalized recreational cannabis for adults. The bill, which passed in the state Congress a week ago, was sent to Walz's desk for him to sign. which he previously said he would do. He later announced:

During the press conference following the bill signing, Walz explained why Minnesota needed to allow cannabis to be used recreationally while reassuring critics that a lot of thought was put into the decision:

This has been a long journey with a lot of folks involved. What we know right now is prohibition does not work. We’ve criminalized a lot of folks who are going to start the expungement process on those records. It’s going to take us a bit of time to get this up and going. We’ll be getting some people into the positions to be able to run this. But I assure Minnesotans 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.

The law will formally go into effect on August 1 and will allow adults 21 and older to carry up to two ounces of cannabis in public and keep up to two pounds in their homes. It also expunged low-level cannabis convictions and legalizes the sale of marijuana products.

Growing marijuana will also be easier in Minnesota thanks to this new law. The law establishes a new regulation that allows companies to apply for a license to grow, manufacture and sell cannabis in retail dispensaries. There are currently as many as 12 different commercial licenses that state residents can apply for to use cannabis recreationally. In the case of medical marijuana, these licenses will make Minnesota one of the most permissive states when it comes to the recreational use of cannabis.