The state of Minnesota is now a Marijuana friendly state and with the change in the law the state will start reviewing previous cannabis-related convictions.

Starting August 1st, 2023 recreational Cannabis became legal in Minnesota and the state is currently working through the process of setting up the infrastructure to regulate the new industry, the state is also setting up a Cannabis Expungement Board, and Governor Walz appointed its first Executive Director.

What is The Minnesota Cannabis Expungement Board?

The Cannabis Expungement Board has the duty of reviewing eligible felony and misdemeanor-level cannabis-related convictions for possible expungement or resentencing.

“I’m proud to appoint James Rowader as executive director of the Cannabis Expungement Board,” said Governor Walz in a press release. "The board will play a critical role in addressing and reducing disparities in our criminal justice system"

Some buds of marijuana sit on a wooden board next to a neatly rolled joint.
Phil Lewis
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Where Did the New Cannabis Expungement Board Director Come From?

Rowader currently works as a director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, and previously served as the city attorney for the City of Minneapolis. Rowader spent a good chunk of his career working at Target as vice president and general counsel for employee and labor relations.

"Throughout my career, I have been focused on supporting efforts to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in the employment space and criminal justice system. I am truly excited to apply my leadership experiences and continue to do meaningful and impactful work..." said Rowader.

Marijuana and a gavel together for many legal concepts on the drug.
matt_benoit
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When Will They Begin Reviewing Cases?

Now that the Cannabis Expungement Board has its director, they hope to start reviewing cases by the end of 2024. Cases will reviewed by the board looking for eligible cases to bring before the Board for decision-making.

According to the law, the board will eliminate cases from review "involving a dangerous weapon, the intentional infliction of bodily harm on another, an attempt to inflict bodily harm on another, or an act committed with the intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death."

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