It’s speculated that recreational marijuana legalization in Minnesota will take longer than it has in other states. Industry experts hint that it’s going to be an uphill battle that some lawmakers just don’t see as a priority. Legislation was introduced in January with bipartisan support, but it’s lagging.
It’s expected that the Senate will be a hard sector of the state Legislature to get marijuana law reform tackled, according to Twin Cities Business. Minnesota’s medical marijuana program is so limited that it’s likely going to hold back a recreational market. The medical marijuana program needs to drastically expand to help the state build marijuana infrastructure.
Jason Tarasek of MPP said, “I am going to actively attempt to get this bill passed this year, but realistically it might not be until 2020. If that is the case, it might not be until 2024 until someone can walk into a dispensary.”
In the state there are less than 10 dispensaries and only 2 growers. This keeps prices for medical marijuana patients very high, which is also stunting the growth of the state’s program.
Karen O’Keefe of MPP said, “Colorado had a huge medical market—about 500 [sellers] from day one. There’s only two growers; prices are very high. If there was to be a head start for medical businesses, they’d need to expand that program.”
Lawmakers and advocates are trying to make progress; Minnesota is just a tough state to make reform like this happen in.