The Minnesota House of Representatives passed an omnibus health finance bill on April 26 with a 69-58 vote. The bill, SF-2995, contains provisions to create a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force in order to proactively prepare for legalization. The task force would be “established to advise the legislature on the legal, medical, and policy issues associated with the legalization of psychedelic medicine in the state.”
SF-2995 was initially introduced in the Senate in March, and was passed with a third reading on April 19, and received amendments in the House over the past few weeks.
Task force duties include surveying “existing studies in the scientific literature on the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelic medicine in the treatment of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder, and any other mental health conditions and medical conditions for which a psychedelic medicine may provide an effective treatment option.”
It would also be required to apply necessary changes that apply to “legalization of psychedelic medicine,” “state and local regulation of psychedelic medicine,” and educating the public regarding legislative recommendations.
The task force would include a varied panel of experts, such as the governor and state attorney general, as well as military veterans and others who suffer from mental health conditions.
Should the omnibus bill pass, the task force would be directed to submit two reports to specific individuals who oversee health and human services. The reports would include the task force’s findings, as well as a plan of action to enforce legalization. The first report would be due by Feb. 1, 2024, and the second would need to be submitted no later than Jan. 1, 2025.
When the bill was introduced in February as a standalone bill, it included a requirement for the task force to look into a wide variety of substances. “Psychedelic medicine may include but is not limited to the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, bufotenine, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, 2C-B, ibogaine, salvinorin A, and ketamine,” the older text stated.
The task force provision would receive $338,000 for fiscal year 2024 and $171,000 in 2025.
Earlier this month, one of the authors of the task force bill, Minnesota Rep. Andy Smith, explained the importance of the bill to KIMT3. “Unfortunately, most of these drugs kind of got wrapped around the world on drugs in the 1980s and so there’s a lot of antiquated laws that are stimming both the research and allowing these drugs to be used in treatment. The goal of the taskforce is to see how we can roll back those regulations well and responsibly,” Smith said. “These drugs . . . have incredible potential to help people who are suffering from depression and at a much cheaper cost. Antidepressants are expensive . . . and these drugs you can usually take them much cheaper.”
While consideration for the omnibus bill is still underway, the Minnesota House just recently passed a cannabis legalization bill on April 25. “It’s time,” said Rep. Zack Stephenson. “Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make responsible decisions about cannabis themselves.”
If passed into law, House File 100 would allow adults over 21 to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower in public, or 1.5 pounds at home in private. Concentrates would be limited to eight grams, and edibles would be maxed out at no more than 800 mg THC. Residents would also be permitted to grow no more than eight plants at home (with a maximum of four flowering plants).
According to attorney Krissy Atterholt from Vicente Sederberg, there’s high hopes for the future of cannabis in Minnesota. “Minnesota is one step closer to providing residents safe, regulated access to legalized adult-use cannabis,” Atterholt told High Times. “The state is progressing toward becoming the next great cannabis opportunity in the Midwest. Not a single state sharing a border with Minnesota has enacted adult-use cannabis opportunities, leaving the market wide open for businesses and consumers.”