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Let’s Make Fun of the State Reps Who Just Failed to Block Legal Weed

Plus Keg & (legal!) Case Market woes, a repeat mosque arson suspect, and BWCA gets a cryptid in today's Flyover.

Reps. Kristin Robbins, Chris Swedzinski, and Dave Baker.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.


Happy belated 4/20 everyone: The Minnesota House of Representatives passed its legal marijuana bill Tuesday with a 71-59 vote. Now the legislation has gotta make its way through the Senate, which it is primed to do on Friday. From there, Gov Tim Walz is "ready to sign it into law." But making Minnesota the 22nd U.S. state with legal weed is not a (bong) hit with everyone. Rep. Kristin Robbins (R-Maple Grove), for example, is not down to weed. Before ultimately voting against the bill, she failed to add amendments that would limit high potency products and grant cities the right to reject marijuana business licenses. She also voiced concern that allowing citizens to own up to eight plants could lead to a black market boom. "We need to take our time, Minnesota is not ready for this," Robbins warned. (Ironically, denying business licenses, limiting potency, and high taxation are the kind of things that help black markets thrive.)

Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar) argued that the legal age to purchase should be 25, because people’s brains are still developing into their 20s. “Let's get it right out of the gate because if it goes in now at 21, it ain't changing,” he said. Rep. Jessica Hanson (DFL-Burnsville) countered that 21-year-olds are already buying alcohol and you only have to be 18 to start smoking cigarettes. And then there was this:

Not all GOPers were against making marijuana legal. Rep. Nolan West (R-Blaine) voted for it, saying he was pleased with an amendment that earmarks money for law enforcement so they can better police this substance once it’s legal. Votes weren’t just along party lines either, though Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL-Winona) told reporters that he was “more open to [legalization] than I’ve been in the past,” he still voted against the bill. He’ll get there someday, guys!

As for this guy... well, we just don't know.

St. Paul's Keg & Case Market Is Getting Sued

Keith Schubert from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports that Keg & Case Market—the food hall that opened in the old Schmidt Brewery building in 2018—looks to be in a lot of financial trouble. A lawsuit filed last week by their lender, Iowa City-based MidWestOne Bank, alleges that the outstanding amount owed by Keg & Case's owner, Schmidt Keg House Holding LLC, is more than $5.4 million. That debt is collecting $1,044 in interest per day—yikes! MidWestOne wants to foreclose the food hall, which opened with 23 vendors and now has just nine, and sell the building. “Keg and Case Market worked incredibly hard to find ways to survive the lasting economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," the ownership group said in a statement. "Unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control have created additional challenges that we have not been able to resolve."

Cops: Suspected Mosque Arsonist Has Done This Before

Police have a suspect in one of the two fires reported in two different Minneapolis mosques over the past two days, and they believe he’s the same person responsible for an arson attempt at the same mosque last year. Early Sunday evening, authorities were alerted to a fire in the bathroom of Masjid Omar Islamic Center, which was put out by worshippers before firefighters arrived. Video footage shows a masked man entering the building with a large paper bag and later running out of the building without the bag. Police say the same man attempted arson at the mosque last year, and there’s video footage of him spray painting anti-Muslim graffiti on nearby buildings. Roble Muhudin, the head of security at 24 Mall, where the Islamic Center is located, told MPR News, “You know, if you watch all these arsonists, they come back to their victim and keep doing until they're satisfied.” The second fire, which occurred Monday evening at Masjid Al Rahma, is also being investigated as possible arson.

Drink Beer, Raise BWCA Monster Awareness

Unlike the waters of the Scottish Highlands and even those of Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area long lacked a proper cryptozoological monster. That is until Lake Monster Brewing and Friends of the Boundary Waters staged a monster-themed short story contest to bestow the BWCA with a beast of its own. The winning entry, “The Jackerwocky” by Brian C. Edstrom, features a “poetically depicted monster with a little bit of everything–claws, antlers, plaid, an ax… and a well-written rhyme that touched on both the geography of the BWCA, and a Leave No Trace philosophy that was (maple) icing on the (monster) cake,” concluded the judging committee. And now The Jackerwocky will come to life in beer-form as a dry-hopped pilsner from Lake Monster. The collab release will be celebrated Thursday from 4-8 p.m. inside Lake Monster’s St. Paul taproom (550 Vandalia St.), and the brew will soon be available in liquor stores. Click here to read all the monster story finalists, one of which comes courtesy of our ol’ City Pages colleague—the Star Tribune’s Susan Du! 

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