Minnesota Democrats celebrating the new law that permits edibles containing certain amounts of THC — the cannabis ingredient that gets people high — said last week they will legalize recreational marijuana if they win control of the House, Senate and governor's office in November.

"Bottom line: If Minnesotans want legal cannabis, the right thing to do is elect Democrats," Rep. Jessica Hanson, DFL-Burnsville, said during a news conference Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Hanson spoke alongside DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler and Rep. Heather Edelson, who touted the new law allowing Minnesotans 21 and older to buy edibles and beverages containing 5 milligrams of THC per serving and 50 milligrams per package.

Add marijuana legalization to the list of issues Minnesotans may think about as they vote in the November midterm elections — though inflation, abortion rights, crime and gun control are sure to be front and center.

The DFL-controlled Minnesota House voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults last year, but the measure stalled because Republicans controlling the state Senate opposed it. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz supports marijuana legalization.

At Tuesday's news conference, Hanson said regulating marijuana would benefit public health and safety. Law enforcement would have more time to investigate violent crimes, she said, and public health agencies would have fewer unregulated cannabis products to worry about.

Walz restated his support for legalizing marijuana Wednesday and said the edible law is a meaningful step toward it. "It's where Minnesotans want us to be, and we need to move in that direction," the governor said.

Senate Republican leaders said their position on marijuana legalization had not changed. In a statement Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, accused Democrats of being focused on the wrong issues.

"It's not really clear to me what Democrats are going to be running on this fall, but I can tell you Senate Republicans are committed to putting Minnesota on the right track," Miller said, adding that the GOP would cut taxes and address violent crime.

Kurtis Hanna, a lobbyist for the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said he thinks Minnesota might legalize marijuana sooner if Democrats hold the governor's office and win full control of the Legislature. But that may not be the only path, said Hanna, who is Republican.

Nineteen states have legalized marijuana and more could follow suit. South Dakotans will vote on whether to legalize it this November, and activists in North Dakota have been gathering signatures to get the measure on their state election ballot. Hanna believes Minnesota Republicans might reconsider if neighboring states legalize it.

"In that sort of environment, I think that it is possible for either the Senate or the House, if they're under Republican control, to finally address this issue head on," Hanna said.