Minnesota’s recreational adult-use cannabis bill, HF100 in the House and its companion SF 73 in the Senate, have now been approved in nine house and six senate committees respectively. Among the committees HF 100 has gone through in the house include Commerce Finance and Policy, Judiciary Finance and Civil Law, Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy, Labor and Industry Finance and Policy, State and Local Government Finance and Policy, Agriculture Finance and Policy, Workforce Development Finance and Policy, Human Services Policy, and Education Finance. Similarly, SF 73 has traveled through the Judiciary and Public Safety, Commerce and Consumer Protection, Jobs and Economic Development, State and Local Government and Veterans, Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development, Environment, Climate, and Legacy, and Transportation Senate Committees.
During the bills journey through the House and Senate committees, many notable and interesting changes and additions to the bill have been made. Of particular note, however, is an addition that may heighten the power of local governments in enforcing and enacting cannabis regulations. On February 9, 2023, the House Committee on Workforce Development Finance and Policy added to HF 100 provisions that require a cannabis retail business to register with its local government, and requires the local government to conduct various compliance checks of every cannabis business with a retail registration within its jurisdiction.
Notably, the prior, and current, version of the bill already includes provisions that allow a local government to place “reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of the operation of a cannabis business.” These new compliance check requirements, however, place even more power in the hands of local governments, as the local government may now “suspend the retail registration of the cannabis business” if it “determines that a cannabis business with a retail registration issued by the local unit of government is not operating in compliance with the requirements” of the cannabis bill “or that the operation of the business poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of the public.” This gives local governments considerable power in how a cannabis retail business operates within its jurisdiction.
Only time will tell what time, place, and manner restrictions local governments will place on cannabis businesses, and how local governments will enforce local compliance. But, you do not need to look further than Minnesota’s low potency hemp derived THC edibles law passed in 2022 to see how local enforcement of these cannabis laws may play out. As my colleague JT Schuweiler wrote at the end of 2022, various local governments have placed moratoriums on the sale, manufacture, and distribution of hemp-derived THC edibles, and have even pursued penalties for violations of such rules. As far as hemp-derived THC edibles go, you can access a helpful survey created by Fox Rothschild designed to help businesses understand where they can and cannot sell, distribute, or manufacture THC edibles in Minnesota.
Stay tuned for further updates as Minnesota’s adult-use cannabis bill moves through the House and Senate.