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Lawmakers send medical cannabis bill to governor.
As Cannabis Wire recently reported, a medical cannabis bill, crafted in response to the state Supreme Court’s striking down of a voter-passed measure, has been moving quickly through the state legislature.
On Wednesday, it went to Gov. Tate Reeves’ desk. He has five days to act.
If the bill become law as is, patients could buy up to 3.5 grams of cannabis flower each day (and no more than 3 ounces of flower a month); THC content would be capped at 30% for flower and 60% for concentrates; and cannabis sold at shops (there can be an unlimited number of shops) would be taxed at an additional 5% on top of the sales tax.
Reeves has not committed to signing the bill, and, throughout the process, has expressed reservations, for example, about the purchase limits.
“Every change [lawmakers] made, they were moving it more in the direction of what we could get comfortable with. The bill is thick, and so we’re going to have lawyers read through it over the next few days and we’ll make a decision by early next week,” he told the local news outlet WLOX Wednesday night.
Gov. Tim Walz calls for legal cannabis in his budget plan.
Walz is the latest to include adult use legalization in his new budget proposal, the first time he has done so. (Last year, Walz urged lawmakers to consider adult use, from a revenue perspective, but didn’t put it in his budget.) It envisions the creation of a Cannabis Management Office and cannabis-related expungements.
“Prohibiting the use of cannabis in Minnesota hasn’t worked. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor know that Minnesota needs modernized solutions to harness the benefits of legalizing cannabis, including expanding our economy, creating jobs across the state, allowing law enforcement to focus on violent crime, and regulating the industry in order to keep our kids safe,” the proposal reads.
+ More: Minnesota’s House Speaker Ryan Winkler got an adult use bill through the House last year, as Cannabis Wire reported, but it stopped there. He is trying again.
South Carolina Senate hears first medical cannabis debate.
As Cannabis Wire reported last week, there is some momentum brewing for medical cannabis in the state.
On Wednesday, for the first time, a medical cannabis bill was debated on a chamber floor. In this case, it was the Senate, and the conversation lasted for several hours.
The areas of focus: keeping the program conservative, ensuring a path is not paved to adult use, youth use and impaired driving concerns, and, repeatedly, the medical cannabis progress in nearby Mississippi.
“One of the things that we decided, or I decided, early on was that this was going to be a different kind of medical cannabis bill,” Sen. Tom Davis, the bill sponsor, said at the start of the conversation. “I wanted it to be a very tightly regulated medical bill that made clear, in no uncertain terms, that it was meant to provide medicine, and put in safeguards against it becoming de facto adult use or recreational use.”
The debate in the Senate is expected to continue this week before a vote is held.