The city of St. Paul, MN, has passed a law prohibiting smoking cannabis and tobacco in public parks. At the same time, the Metropolitan Airports Commission has scheduled a meeting to consider an ordinance on marijuana use.
St. Paul Bans Marijuana and Tobacco in Public Parks
City officials in St. Paul, MN, narrowly approved a measure banning the use of cannabis and tobacco in all city parks and proximity to government buildings this week. According to Fox9 News, the St. Paul city council passed the ordinance by a 4-3 vote on Wednesday.
Several Minnesota municipalities enacted similar statutes after the state legislature and Governor Tim Walz (D) passed a new law legalizing adult-use cannabis this summer. Initially, city leaders believed the new law would ban the consumption of marijuana products in public spaces. However, when they learned that wasn’t the case, state officials began passing their own measures in July.
In addition, while drafting the statute, St. Paul officials also discovered that tobacco smoking wasn’t prohibited under the city code. So, they moved to utilize the new ordinance to ban both.
Earlier proposals of the bill would have banned smoking in any city-owned space. Likewise, there were also calls to restrict the use of other cannabis products, like THC drinks, gummies, or other edibles. In the end, city leaders settled on a final language in the ordinance to only prohibit smoking marijuana and tobacco products in city parks and in close proximity to windows and entrances for public buildings or places of employment.
The council also agreed to reduce the penalty for violating the statute, lowering it from a petty misdemeanor to an administrative citation. Lawmakers also included exceptions to the law, such as using tobacco for Native American cultural ceremonies and smoking within designated smoking areas.
MAC Schedules Hearing to Discuss Cannabis Ordinance
The Minnesota Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has given notice regarding a hearing to discuss drafting an ordinance to regulate cannabis consumption at the Minneapolis International Airport. According to multiple media outlets, the hearing will:
Take place on October 9
Help establish rules of conduct for cannabis use and penalties for violations on Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport property.
Include in-person testimony and written comments.
In a statement released by MAC, the Commission states that “the ordinance is to promote and conserve public safety, health, peace, convenience and welfare on properties owned by or under the supervision and control of MAC, which includes the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”
"The ordinance is to promote and conserve public safety, health, peace, convenience and welfare on properties owned by or under the supervision and control of MAC, which includes the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”
- Statement from the Metropolitan Airports Commission
The first retail cannabis dispensaries are not expected to open for business until early Spring 2025. However, Minnesotans 21 and older are currently allowed to cultivate up to four mature marijuana plants at home, and a couple of Native American tribes recently passed laws legalizing the sale of recreational adult-use cannabis at tribal-owned stores effective immediately.