As Minnesota became the 23rd state to allow legal cannabis sales, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura announced his intention to become involved with the industry and perhaps launch his own cannabis brand. What’s more, he wants to become the face of legal cannabis in Minnesota.
The former governor and retired professional wrestler, now 72, spoke about his intentions in a Canna Connect MN Live Stream on YouTube. He said that Minnesota is positioned to develop some of the best cannabis available in the world.
“I want involvement in this. I want involvement in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota grown, Minnesota produced and promoted by Minnesota’s governor, or former,” he said. “One personal thing for me on this is this: I want to be the first major politician in America who puts his likeness, face and everything behind cannabis. This is an ego thing for me. I want to have my name considered with cannabis.”
Ventura Has Previously Testified for Legalization
In February 2023, Ventura appeared before a committee of the state legislature, speaking in favor of cannabis legalization in Minnesota. Ventura said that cannabis stopped his wife’s chronic seizures. “Cannabis saved my life. Let that sink in. Not me personally, but the 38th first lady of Minnesota. And if I get choked up a little, bear with me,” he said before a Minnesota Senate committee.
Ventura told the committee that doctors tried four different anti-seizure medications, but none worked. They also had bad side effects. The Venturas then drove to Colorado, where friends gave his wife her first dose of medical marijuana. He said his wife took three drops under the tongue. She has not had a seizure since.
Ventura also favored legalization during his time as governor, which lasted from 1999 to 2003.
Ventura Says Marijuana Helps With Sleep
During the recent Canna Connect event, Ventura, a Navy veteran, emphasized his rejection of the medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana distinction. He aligned himself with cannabis icon Tommy Chong’s viewpoint that the whole cannabis plant possesses medicinal properties, regardless of its intended use.
As a registered medical cannabis patient in Minnesota, Ventura personally uses marijuana through vaping to address non-specific neuropathy in his feet, a condition causing numbness and discomforting tingling sensations. Also, he relies on cannabis to cope with post-traumatic stress, as it aids in improving his sleep despite the discomfort caused by neuropathy.
Ventura stood next to the current Gov. Tim Walz when he signed the legal cannabis bill in May. He said at the time that legalization was personal to him. “For me personally, it’s very wonderful to see a dream of yours over 20 years ago finally happen today, and I’m still alive to see it,” he said.