State agencies in Minnesota hope to start granting retail licenses for permitted marijuana sales within a year. To accomplish this, a request has been made for vendors to provide a timeline for the program’s development, following the approval of a bill by the legislature permitting adults aged 21 years and older to possess and purchase cannabis. Governor Tim Walz has expressed his intention to sign the bill into law, thereby making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana.
The state is looking for a software provider to handle the applications and data related to retail licenses. According to the proposal package, work on the project would begin in July, and applications for licenses would begin in May 2024. Although the date may change, the first dispensary sales of marijuana are anticipated to begin in January 2025.
In the interim, starting in August, individuals will be permitted to cultivate marijuana plants at home, within certain limits. They will be allowed to possess up to two pounds of cultivated cannabis and share small amounts with individuals of legal age whom they are acquainted with.
Pending Governor Walz’s signature, the bill outlines the following key points:
- Marijuana would be legal for adults 21 years of age and older to buy, possess and consume; however, there would be consequences for selling the substance to minors.
- The state will tax cannabis sales at a 10% rate, which is considerably less than the rates in many other states where recreational cannabis is legal. The revenue earned will be used to assist the legal cannabis market through grants and other regulatory measures. The state treasury will receive 8% of the tax money, with the remaining 2% going to local governments.
- Counties and cities might set a limit on the number of cannabis merchants depending on the size of their respective populations, with at least one store for every 12,500 residents. Communities could award additional licenses, but there would be a ceiling.
- Individuals with previous marijuana-related convictions may have their criminal records expunged. The lowest-level offenses would be subject to an automatic process that would begin in August and go until 2024. More difficult matters would be reviewed by a different board.
Minnesota has had a medicinal marijuana program in place for nearly a decade, initially restricted to tablets, oils and other nonsmoking forms. The authorization for the leaf form was granted in 2021.
It is noteworthy that Minnesota has had a medical cannabis program for almost 10 years, and the state has progressively expanded the range of products that patients can access from the marijuana-licensed outlets. Now that companies such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are developing formulations that can meet the strict FDA requirements, the concerns that some people have about using marijuana will be addressed through these pharmaceutical-grade medicines.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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