Olmsted County Board to Discuss Marijuana Legalization
This past May Lawmakers approved legislation that legalized cannabis for recreational use. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz on May 30.
Last month the board was asked to set a public hearing date on a moratorium on new cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of the county until 2025 or after the county adopts new policies and regulations dealing with marijuana businesses. The commissioners decided to table a motion to set a date for a public hearing, saying they wanted more information before starting the process of passing a moratorium.
On Tuesday board members are set to receive more information regarding cannabis legalization. An item on the governing body’s agenda says members from the county’s Public Health Department, Sheriff’s Office, County Attorney’s Office, Planning, and Human Resources will share more information regarding the new cannabis law’s local impact with the elected leaders.
Tuesday’s agenda item does not require the board to take any action and says county staff members intend to make policy recommendations related to ordinances, zoning, and policies regarding cannabis where the new law allows for local control and decision making.
Under the new Minnesota law, licenses to operate cannabis dispensaries and related businesses will be issued by the soon-to-be formed State Office of Cannabis Management. The new bureaucracy is not expected to be fully operational until late 2024.
The public use of cannabis products is already covered under Olmsted County's smoking ordinance. Locations, where smoking or vaping tobacco products are already prohibited, are also off-limits to anyone smoking or vaping cannabis products. The Rochester City Council voted earlier this summer to implement a moratorium on new cannabis businesses until 2025.