Minnesota lawmakers: Gov. Strain should lead to ‘bigger picture’
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota legislators on Tuesday passed a measure to strengthen state oversight of the medical marijuana industry, a day after a bipartisan group of lawmakers passed a similar measure that would allow patients to grow their own plants.
The House and Senate passed the measure Wednesday and the Senate is expected to take it up for a vote on Thursday.
Both bills would require that all manufacturers and distributors in the state follow federal regulations and regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The House and the House and House of Representatives have introduced bills to regulate the industry and require state officials to set up testing facilities and dispensaries.
The bills would also require Minnesota hospitals to have dispensary and testing facilities.
The Senate and the Republican-controlled House passed a bill that would authorize the Department of Revenue to collect sales tax on all medical marijuana sales, and the measure passed the Senate on a 57-27 vote, with two Democrats voting against the measure.
The Senate bill passed the House on a 59-26 vote, and Gov.
Mark Dayton signed it into law.
It was not immediately clear how the bills would affect the current state of the Minnesota medical marijuana program, but the Republican governor’s office said in a statement that “medical marijuana is a growing industry in Minnesota and the state has been moving forward in the right direction.”
The Senate measure would create a task force to review medical marijuana regulations, but Dayton said that his administration has no plans to use the task force.
“Our task force has already identified a number of issues and concerns with medical marijuana laws, including lack of oversight and lack of transparency in the system,” Dayton’s statement said.
“The legislation that is pending today would expand that task force, and give us a chance to get some input from our community on what we need to do to help ensure that the health and well-being of our patients and their families are protected.”
As we have said many times, we believe that the current system in Minnesota is working and it is a good way to help our patients while we focus on the issues that are most important to them,” Dayton said.
The governor’s administration has said that its goal is to set a standard for medical marijuana in the country, with a goal of having marijuana approved for recreational use by the end of 2018.