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Published February 24, 2011, 04:28 PM

MN Bill Sees Medical Marijuana as Export Crop

A Minnesota lawmaker sees an export market for medical marijuana — even though the state has never allowed its use.

By: Associated Press,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota lawmaker sees an export market for medical marijuana — even though the state has never allowed its use.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn introduced the Medical Marijuana Production and Export Act in the House on Thursday.

The bill from the long-serving Minneapolis Democrat would authorize the cultivation and processing of marijuana for export to states and countries where its medical use is legal.

Kahn proposes a system regulated by the state agriculture commissioner, where growers would have to pass background checks and account each year for all the marijuana they cultivated.

The proposal says such an industry would strengthen Minnesota's economy and agriculture.

The bill would shield authorized marijuana growers from penalties for possessing the drug, but there would be no legal protection for unauthorized possession or consumption of medical marijuana.

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