History of Cannabis and CBD: Minnesota
Though it’s not well known for cannabis, Minnesota has a broad history of hemp production dating back to the mid nineteenth century. During World War II, hemp cultivation reached its peak in the state due to wartime demand for breathable fabrics, composite materials, and nutritious food sources.
After the War, production slowed to a halt and the War on Drugs maligned hemp with marijuana. Interestingly enough, Minnesota experienced a brief burst of decriminalization in the mid seventies as a backlash to dwindling hemp industrial conditions.
Currently, marijuana is not legal for recreational use but is available for patients with qualifying conditions.
Cannabis, CBD, and Minnesota
In 1976, Minnesota became one among several states that were vying for decriminalization. During this very brief time period, the penalty for possession of up to 42.5 grams was classified as a petty misdemeanor.
Decades later, the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act sought to legalize cannabis for specific purposes by creating a patient registry under the Department of Health. The robust bill went on to set up the framework for the medical marijuana industry and participating departments, allowing the program to flourish upon implementation.
Additionally, the bill created a task force to further study the beneficial or therapeutic effects of CBD and cannabis. Over time, this bill has just gotten more extensive and inclusive in its definition of qualifying conditions.
However, the bill is still considered one of the most restrictive medical marijuana policies in the country, since there are under a dozen medical conditions that could qualify a patient for cannabis use. It was a huge step forward when post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was added to the list of qualifying conditions.
Currently, residents and legislators are fighting out the future political landscape for full marijuana legalization. Governor Tim Walz argued that legalizing marijuana could be a huge source of tax revenue and reduce the number of non-violent drug offenders crowding prison cells. After all, over half of the arrests in Minnesota that occurred in 2012 were due to marijuana possession, which has amounted to huge costs.
In early 2019, Senator Melisa Franzen and Republican Mike Feiberg introduced a bill that would allow consumers to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis. After months of back and forth arguing in the committee, the bill was ultimately shot down before it could ever reach the floor.
Residents are hopeful that, slowly, political will is changing throughout the state. More municipalities are adopting decriminalization standards and voting to keep possession arrests the lowest possible priority.