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Under pressure from advocates, Minnesota legislators debate proposal to allow early marijuana growing

Minnesota legislators and regulators are facing increasing pressure to license marijuana growers ahead of dispensaries to ensure the market will have enough supply when it launches next year.

Under current law, the state's Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) cannot issue cultivation licenses until it has set rules for the recreational industry. That rulemaking process is expected to wrap up in early 2025.

State senators pushed forward a proposal Tuesday to allow certain Minnesotans to grow marijuana this year under the state's existing medical cannabis cultivation rules. Only social equity applicants who've been preapproved for a cannabis business license and obtained local zoning approval would be allowed to start growing early. Social equity applicants are defined as people harmed directly or indirectly by previous criminal enforcement of marijuana laws.


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