House Committee Discusses New Cannabis Legislation

Reporting by Tyshawn Spearman, Community Journalist-in-Training

Editing by McKenzie Kemper, Community Journalist

In a March 22nd, Meeting of the House Commerce Finance and Policy committee,  Rep. Jessica hanson (DFL-55A) introduced HF BILL 3766.

This proposed bill would allow patients to “farm out” the growth of up to 16 cannabis plants to persons who already legally grow cannabis, alleviating some of the cost of procuring medical cannabis while still providing relief to patients in need. To view the specifics of the bill, and where it is in legislation go to:

Mr. Mark Hanson, a disability advocate, spoke in favor of the bill saying, “I’ve got an open mind and I support this bill. We’re all adults, and know how to handle it…just be careful and use it wisely.”

Representative Neu- Brindley (28B) posed the question regarding testing requirements for cannabis grown through this bill to which Representative Hanson replied that the infrastructure for testing both in the state and nationwide is sorely lacking, and that is something that she is in favor of and would like to work towards. It is her belief that the growers who are worth their salt would use a testing program regularly and, also, see the benefit of the testing. 

Representative Neu- Brindley also posed the question, “Why do we need to have this bill when HF100 was expansive in regards to cannabis and growing plants at home?”

Representative Hanson pointed out that HF100 allows for persons to grow up to 8 plants at home, but HF3766 proposes doubling that amount to support persons with disabilities As Miss Hanson put it. “Growing cannabis is a fine tuned, expensive process from the materials to the electricity and the very detail oriented work necessary to successfully cultivate plants. This work puts a lot of persons with disabilities that utilize cannabis at a disadvantage both from a cost perspective and a labor perspective. My bill would seek to make access to medicinal cannabis more equitable for everyone in Minnesota.”

There was a good bit of back and forth discussion, hammering out the specifics of the bill to ensure that, if it is passed, it will best serve Minnesotans with disabilities and be utilized in a productive, beneficial way for those intended to benefit from the bill. 

Representative Hanson ended the meeting by telling the committee that the spirit of this bill is to allow caregivers to grow cannabis for those in their care either at the patients’ home or their own and would allow the plants to move between those locations. As she pointed out this bill is helping to do the work to create a more equitable Minnesota for all particularly Minnesotans with disabilities. 

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