Minnesota Is 23rd State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Last updated on: | Author: ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES
Cite this page using APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian style guides
Minnesota state capitol building, Saint Paul
Source: Donovan Reese/Getty Images

Taking the nation closer to a tipping point in legalization of recreational (adult-use) marijuana, Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize the drug on May 30, 2023. 

Governor Tim Walz signed HF100 stating, “We’ve known for too long that prohibiting the use of cannabis hasn’t worked. By legalizing adult-use cannabis, we’re expanding our economy, creating jobs, and regulating the industry to keep Minnesotans safe. Legalizing adult-use cannabis and expunging or resentencing cannabis convictions will strengthen communities. This is the right move for Minnesota.”

Beginning on Aug. 1, 2023, adults who are 21 and older will be able to possess up to two pounds of marijuana at home and two ounces in public legally. Sales will only be legal with a state license. The regulatory framework to establish manufacturers and dispensaries is expected to take up to 18 months to be in place.

Further, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will begin automatically clearing non-felony marijuana offenses from individual criminal records on Aug. 1, 2023 and a board will review felony offenses for potential expungement.

Minnesota’s law also allows for home-extraction to create edibles, which has sparked controversy. Matt Little, Managing Partner of Midwest Extraction Services, explains, “You’re going to have people that are reading stuff on the internet and trying it, and next thing you know they do it once, small scale in their kitchen… and now they try to scale up and start producing and it becomes unsafe real fast. You have essentially butane or propane being released in the air and a massive amount of pressure. Next thing you know, one spark and you just blew up your house.” 

Discussion Questions

1. Should recreational marijuana be legal? 

2. Should state or federal governments be responsible for legalizing, decriminalizing, or criminalizing marijuana? Explain your answer(s).


Shawna Mizelle and Sydney Kashiwagi, “Minnesota Becomes 23rd State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana,” cnn.com, May 30, 2023

Nathan O’Neal, “Legalizing Marijuana in Minnesota: Explosive Risks Tied to Home THC Extraction Labs,” fox9.com, Feb. 8, 2023

WCCO Staff, “Gov. Tim Walz Signs Recreational Cannabis Bill into Law,” cbsnews.com, May 30, 2023