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One of Minnesota’s marijuana parties loses major party status

One of Minnesota’s marijuana parties lost its major party status in this year’s election.

The Grassroots–Legalize Cannabis Party has failed to have a statewide candidate net 5% of the vote in the past two general elections, required in order for it to maintain its major party status.

Candidates were running under the party’s banner for governor and state auditor, but both drew less than 2% of the vote.

For the past four years, Minnesota has had four major parties: the DFL, GOP and two marijuana parties. The other pro-cannabis legalization party, Legal Marijuana Now, will hang on to its major party status headed into 2024.

While that party also failed to have a statewide candidate meet the 5% threshold this year, in 2020, its U.S. Senate candidate, Kevin O’Connor, received nearly 6% of the vote, sustaining its status for four years after that.

For some in the Grassroots–Legalize Cannabis Party party, the loss of major party status is a good thing.

Party Chairman Oliver Steinberg has long lamented the change, which he said opened the party up to having “bogus” candidates who are actually GOP-aligned run under the party’s name.

“Major party status is the worst thing that happened to the cannabis parties,” he said.

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