Staff Directory 6370411

Ryan Faircloth

Politics and government reporter | Higher Education

Ryan Faircloth covers Minnesota politics and government for the Star Tribune.

Faircloth previously covered higher education and breaking news, contributing to the Star Tribune's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the police killing of George Floyd. A 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Faircloth started his career covering state politics for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and was named Minnesota's Young Journalist of the Year by the state Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting at the Capitol. In his spare time, he enjoys practicing boxing and mixed martial arts – sports he once competed in – and searching the Twin Cities for barbecue and tacos that are even half as good as those he had growing up in Houston.
Recent content from Ryan Faircloth
“We’re looking, I think, nationally a little bit more to see how that goes,” DFL Gov. Tim Walz said of the search for a permanent cannabis direc

Minnesota still without a permanent cannabis director, but work to set up industry continues

The state's interim cannabis director, under contract until mid-February, said Minnesota remains on track to have dispensaries open by 2025.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, photographed Wednesday at his district headquarters in Wayzata, said he intends to “pass the torch” to another

Rep. Dean Phillips, running for president, won't seek re-election to Congress

Returning to Congress after his primary challenge to President Biden would be "both unproductive and uncomfortable," Phillips said.
Some Minnesota law enforcement officers will soon administer a saliva-based roadside impairment test for drugs such as cannabis.

Minnesota set to launch roadside impairment test for marijuana

"I would expect that by this time next month, the units will be in the field," said Mike Hanson, director of Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety.
Former Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said she plans to “reclaim my political voice.”

Minnesota GOP, former chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan agree to drop lawsuits against each other

She was forced out of her party leadership role in 2021 amid allegations she created a toxic workplace.
The University of Minnesota’s new Cannabis Research Center is funded by the state’s recreational marijuana law.

University of Minnesota launches Cannabis Research Center

The center will study the public health effects of marijuana legalization in the state.
The State Office Building, built in 1932, sits next to the Minnesota Capitol. It has needed repairs for decades and is in line for a $454 million reno

Minnesota Republicans see costly State Office Building renovation as potent 2024 issue

Their attacks mirror a strategy used a decade ago that conservatives say helped them flip the state House.
Don Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council and School Board member, announced his second Democratic primary campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar on Su

Don Samuels launches rematch campaign for Congress against Rep. Ilhan Omar

Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member, came within about two percentage points of defeating Omar last year.
State Sen. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, announced Thursday she will run for the Minnesota congressional seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phill

DFL state Sen. Kelly Morrison to run for Minnesota congressional seat held by Dean Phillips

Morrison, an assistant Minnesota Senate majority leader and practicing OB-GYN, is the second Democrat to seek Phillips' seat.
Rep. Angie Craig was the sole Minnesota Democrat to vote recently in favor of censuring a Democratic House colleague and to approve a GOP-led Israel a

Rep. Angie Craig breaks with most House Democrats in voting to censure Tlaib

Craig also broke with most in her party last week to support a GOP bill that tied Israel aid to IRS funding cuts.
After signing a declaration of candidacy to run for president, Dean Phillips walked out of the New Hampshire State House to address the crowd Friday,

Who is Dean Phillips, the Minnesotan running for president? Here's what you need to know.

Phillips, a third-term congressman and heir to a liquor fortune, is challenging Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Dean Phillips stepped off of his campaign bus at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord where he filed a declaration of candidacy to run in the state

Phillips launches longshot Democratic bid for presidency

There's worry among Democrats that Phillips' run will hurt Biden's re-election chances.
Patrick McClellan, a longtime medical marijuana patient, looks over the marijuana plants he’s cultivating in a grow tent for personal use Thursday,

Meet the Minnesotans who are legally growing their own marijuana

Some of the early growers are farmers, teachers, scientists and entrepreneurs.
Volunteer Andrew Morrow set up Dean Phillips’ “government repair truck” outside the New Hampshire State House in Concord, where Phillips intends

Phillips to announce campaign against Biden on Friday

Rep. Dean Phillips is set to challenge President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary election.
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., is acknowledged as he voted for Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., for House speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 25

Behind the rise and fall of Tom Emmer's campaign to become House speaker

Emmer's bid for the speakership fell apart after former President Donald Trump and his allies publicly undermined him.
Emmer’s political life has been filled with highs and lows,

Who is Tom Emmer, the Minn. Republican who tried to become speaker? A look at his political history

Emmer's conservative bona fides were called into question by former President Donald Trump and his allies.
In a text message to the Star Tribune, Rep. Dean Phillips acknowledged that he did not file for Nevada’s primary but declined to elaborate further.

Rep. Dean Phillips misses filing deadline for Nevada's presidential primary, won't be on ballot

A deadline to file for New Hampshire's closely watched presidential primary election is just over a week away.
After criticism, Twin Cities socialist group condemns Hamas attacks

After criticism, Twin Cities socialist group condemns Hamas attacks

The follow-up statement from the chapter of Democratic Socialists of America came after its original remarks were widely denounced.
State DFL party chair Ken Martin said the Twin Cities socialist group’s statement “doesn’t even acknowledge the slaughter of Israeli & American

Minnesota DFL chair rebukes socialist group for 'disgusting statement' after attacks on Israel

The Twin Cities chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America issued a "statement of solidarity with Palestine."
Chisago County received two calls about Rep. Brion Curran’s driving.

DFL Rep. Brion Curran charged with DWI

Vadnais Heights DFLer tested at the jail with 0.16% blood alcohol level, twice the legal limit.
Billionaire Stanley Hubbard is among the donors who have given money to Right Now Minnesota, a state PAC, and its federally connected super PAC Right

Minnesota Republican PAC accused of misleading rich donors, misusing their money

"It just doesn't make any sense," donor Mark Davis said about what Right Now Minnesota has reported spending its money on.
Legislative Auditor Judy Randall is requesting information about the appointment process from the governor’s office.

Auditor opens initial look into failed cannabis director hiring

Erin DuPree, a self-described cannabis industry entrepreneur and hemp shop owner, stepped down a day after Gov. Tim Walz appointed her after a Star Tribune report revealed she had sold illegal products at her hemp store.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said AI could amplify disinformation in next year’s election.

Minnesota officials warn of danger that AI could pose to elections

The evolving technology, if used deceptively, could cause harm to democracy, officials say.
Gov. Tim Walz said he now wants to hire someone with regulatory experience to head Minnesota’s new cannabis agency.

After cannabis director blunder, Walz pledges to hire a 'regulator' for the job

The governor's first pick, a cannabis business owner, stepped down a day after being appointed after the Star Tribune revealed she had sold illegal products.
Erin DuPree’s hemp store, Loonacy Cannabis, sold multiple cannabis products that are illegal under state law.

'We got this wrong': Walz takes responsibility for cannabis director debacle

Erin DuPree stepped aside Friday, a day after Walz appointed her to lead the Office of Cannabis Management.
Erin DuPree’s hemp store, Loonacy, sold multiple cannabis products that are illegal under state law.

New Minnesota cannabis director resigns amid report she sold illegal products

Erin DuPree was selling high-dose cannabis products at her hemp shop that weren't compliant with state law.
Erin DuPree will head the state’s new Office of Cannabis Management.

Cannabis entrepreneur to lead Minnesota's new marijuana agency

Erin DuPree has never worked in government but says her experience with startup businesses makes her well-suited for the role.
Minnesotans can transport certain amounts of marijuana in their vehicles but not consume it there.

Rules of the road: What Minnesotans can and cannot do with marijuana in their vehicles

Possession is allowed. Consumption and open containers are not.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai ate ice cream in the Dairy Building at the State Fair on Wednesday.

Biden's Cabinet members flock to Minnesota, just in time for State Fair

Three Biden administration officials visited Minnesota this week within days of one another.
Every top House Democrat has endorsed Rep. Ilhan Omar this cycle. She came closer than ever to losing her congressional seat in last year’s primary.

Facing another primary challenge, Rep. Omar endorsed by top U.S. House Democrats

The House Democratic leaders' endorsements of Omar come a year before she's set to face primary challengers.
Former DFL Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen served in the Legislature for three terms before choosing not to seek re-election last year.

Former DFL Senate minority leader becomes chief lobbyist for U, making $250K

Former Sen. Melisa López Franzen started as the U's executive director of government and community relations on Monday.
THC seltzers are featured on a wall in Natreum in St. Louis Park. According to an initial report from the Department of Revenue, about $6 million wort

First month of Minnesota's cannabis tax nets the state nearly $600K

The July haul is a partial snapshot of the state's hemp-derived THC gummy and drink market.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attended the FIFA World Cup and met with Qatari government officials while she was in the Gulf nation last November. She als

Rep. Ilhan Omar's trip to World Cup funded by Qatar government, disclosure shows

Omar, an outspoken human rights advocate, took the trip funded by the country that has been widely criticized for human rights abuses.
Bridgette Pinder held hemp buds to be pressed for oil at Grounded Gardens on May 31. Hemp and marijuana are legally distinct variations of cannabis th

Should Minnesotans be able to sell marijuana they grow? Advocates say state Constitution allows it.

The state's marijuana law says selling it without a license is a crime ranging from a petty misdemeanor to a felony.
The second floor of the Minnesota Department of Administration building is being remodeled to accommodate the changing needs of the workforce.

Minn. government employees still working remotely in what looks to be lasting shift

State agencies are looking to downsize their offices as many employees continue to work from home.
When asked if President Joe Biden is the best option for Democrats in 2024,  U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., said, “We will never know if we do n

Top Minnesota Democrats cool to Phillips' possible presidential run

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips has not ruled out a possible primary challenge to President Joe Biden.
The medicinal chemicals are concentrated in the flowering buds of a cannabis plants. ] GLEN STUBBE * Tuesday, May 5, 2015 The

What you need to know about Minnesota's marijuana legalization law

Minnesota is the 23rd state to legalize recreational cannabis. Here's a detailed look at what the new law allows — and what it won't.
Derrick Strauss, a cannabis glassware artist, enjoyed a puff on a dab rig outside First Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

Marijuana legalization marks new era for state, but will Minnesotans embrace it?

Celebrations, shrugs and hand-wringing mark the beginning of legal weed in Minnesota.
Forty Acres Co-op is a Black-owned hemp farmers collective that aims to give land access to new and emerging farmers of color.

'A form of reparation': State will send money to communities harmed by marijuana prohibition

The "CanRenew" grant program was largely overlooked during debate over the sweeping new cannabis law.
NativeCare on the Red Lake Nation is Minnesota’s first recreational cannabis dispensary.

Marijuana use and possession are now legal in Minnesota. Here's what you need to know.

Selling without a license is still a crime. Other than medical marijuana, hemp-derived products and tribal dispensaries, Minnesota now has a "gray" market.
Minnesota Department of Education officials testified during a Senate hearing on oversight of meal distribution programs, including Feeding Our Future

After Feeding Our Future fraud, Minn. Department of Education to get an inspector general

A new office will give the Education Department the investigatory authority it lacked during the $250 million fraud case, officials said.
Starting Aug. 1, Minnesotans can smoke in a park, on a sidewalk or outside a restaurant or bar unless their city passes an ordinance prohibiting it.

You can soon smoke pot in public, but some cities are weighing bans

Starting Aug. 1 Minnesotans can smoke marijuana in a park, on a sidewalk or outside a restaurant or bar, unless their city passes or has an existing ordinance prohibiting it.
Minnesota Republican Party Chair David Hann said fundraising has started to pick up after the recent legislative session in which Democrats pushed thr

'They have to raise money': Minnesota GOP seeks rebound from fundraising slump

The party is working to recover from losing every statewide race and control of the state Senate last year.

'I take full responsibility': DFL state Rep. Dan Wolgamott apologizes for recent DWI arrest

Security camera footage from a Mora, Minn., liquor store purportedly shows Wolgamott drinking in the parking lot before driving away.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz initially appointed Jerald Loud to the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband.

Gov. Tim Walz rescinds task force appointment after learning of domestic abuse allegations

Walz was unaware of appointee's past until questioned about it by the Star Tribune, his office said.
Cory Lake, the CEO of Lake Group Insurance, who has been working with businesses that sell hemp-based cannabis products for several years now, at a cl

Marijuana market could be a boon for other industries, jobs

Not everyone who works with cannabis will be growing or selling it. There will be cannabis accountants, lawyers, insurance agents and more.
Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget Jim Schowalter will step down from his role on Aug. 14.

Minnesota's budget commissioner to step down in August

Commissioner Jim Schowalter will leave the agency, Deputy Commissioner Erin Campbell will take his place.
Rep. Dan Wolgamott is in his third term representing St. Cloud.

Minnesota DFL lawmaker arrested on suspicion of DWI

The State Patrol arrested Rep. Dan Wolgamott on Friday evening.
Gov. Tim Walz and DFL lawmakers celebrated their legislative victories in May, but some of the laws are now being challenged in court.

Lawsuits pile up against actions taken by DFL-controlled Minnesota Legislature

New laws are being challenged in court.
Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said she welcomed the Legislature’s decision to break up the massive department.

Minnesota Department of Human Services to be broken up after years of scrutiny

The agency's massive Direct Care and Treatment division will spin off into its own agency, taking its nearly 5,000 employees with it.
Cannabis products will now be subject to a 10% tax.

Cannabis tax, free school meals, boat registration fee hike among new laws now in effect

A number of new laws passed by the Legislature this year take effect July 1.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was a leading proponent for the broadband funding.

Minnesota to receive $652M in federal funding for broadband internet expansion

The more than half-billion-dollar investment comes from the federal infrastructure act.
Student loan borrowers will be able to turn to a new state ombudsperson to help resolve issues.

Minnesota expands protections for student loan borrowers as payment pause nears end

Minnesota will hire a new student loan ombudsperson to help borrowers resolve disputes, understand debt terms.
Future Minnesota high school students will be required to take classes on personal finance and government and citizenship before graduating.

Minnesota's new graduation requirements: Learn how to manage money and participate in democracy

New legislative requirements will mandate civics and personal finance courses.
Shawn Triplett checks out the different strains of cannabis flower available at the Herbana dispensary in Ann Arbor, Mich. earlier this year.

Minn.'s legal marijuana sales projected to reach $1.5B by 2029

State's legal cannabis market could also serve more than 700,000 consumers annually, a new analysis shows.
Minnesota will soon begin searching for its first cannabis director.

Minnesota moves closer to recreational marijuana market with new agency

A team of regulators have started creating the Office of Cannabis Management, which will oversee Minnesota's marijuana market.
Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin criticized the Scott County GOP chapter’s Facebook post as “disturbing and offensive.”

Minnesota DFL blasts Scott County GOP for comparing Biden to Hitler and Stalin

Minnesota GOP spokesman says post was "uncalled for," and that the party has asked for it to be taken down.
Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug federally — a category that also includes heroin and LSD. The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits users o

Minnesotans who use marijuana can't own guns, ATF says. But will the agency enforce it?

Federal law prohibits cannabis users from having firearms, even if marijuana is legal in their state.
Chaska physician Scott Jensen said he was repeatedly investigated by the Board of Medical Practice for public statements he made about COVID-19, and a

Ex-governor candidate Scott Jensen sues Keith Ellison, medical board

The Chaska physician alleges the two worked together on "politically motivated" investigations into his medical license.
Former Governor Jesse Ventura was on hand as Gov. Tim Walz legalized marijuana in Minnesota with the stroke of a pen on Tuesday.

Walz signs historic bill legalizing marijuana in Minnesota

Use, possession and home-growing become legal on Aug. 1, while retail sales are likely at least a year away.
DFL legislators Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic and Sen. Jennifer McEwen applauded in

How did Minnesota Democrats unify to pass sweeping change?

From Social Security tax exemptions to gun restrictions, DFL leaders at the State Capitol held their caucuses together on divisive issues.
State Sen. Omar Fateh, the Minneapolis Democrat who sponsored the rideshare bill, is among the legislators criticizing Walz’s veto.

DFL lawmakers criticize Gov. Walz for vetoing rideshare bill

Walz's veto was rebuked by the Legislature's People of Color and Indigenous Caucus, and the bill's Senate sponsor.
Sports betting sputtered in the Minnesota Senate despite a last-minute push.

Sports betting, Equal Rights Amendment among items that didn't get done this session

Here's what was left unfinished when the Minnesota Legislature adjourned Monday.
Along with DFL legislative leaders and his commissioners, Gov. Tim Walz threw a bill-signing party Wednesday morning on the Capitol steps.

Walz, Democrats and advocates celebrate $72 billion budget

Republicans say the new budget will make it much more expensive to live in Minnesota.
House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, said Minnesotans will be disappointed that legislators raised taxes when the state had a surplus.

Minnesota Republicans decry legislative session as partisan, seek to win back House

GOP legislative leaders and the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party blast Democrats for raising taxes amid surplus.
House DFL members celebrated after the passage of the Health and Human Services finance bill on the floor of the house Monday.

Legislature ends session by passing largest infrastructure package in state history

Lawmakers sent a $2.6 billion infrastructure package to Gov. Tim Walz's desk on the final day of session.
Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, spoke with Laura Bordelon with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce outside the House chamber on Friday.

Legislature passes $3 billion tax bill ahead of Monday deadline

The tax bill includes one-time rebates, tax credits and $1 billion in tax increases. It now heads to Gov. Tim Walz.
Sen. Lindsey Port, DFL-Burnsville, center, author of the marijuana bill, got a hug from Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten, DFL-St. Paul, when the Senate passe

Senate votes to legalize recreational marijuana; Walz to sign bill

The bill would legalize marijuana for adults in Minnesota.
Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, center, applauded with other members after the 73-57 passage of the bill he authored to legalize recreational m

Minnesota House votes to legalize recreational marijuana

The DFL-controlled House voted 73-57 to give its approval. A Senate vote could come Friday, potentially sending the marijuana bill to the governor's desk by the weekend. Gov. Tim Walz has pledged to sign it.
Jennifer Carnahan said the charity is “still in the formation phase, so there is not much to share (at this point) other than this charity was creat

Hagedorn campaign money transferred to charity led by his widow, Jennifer Carnahan

Filings show the former Minnesota GOP chair is leading a cancer charity named after her late husband, former U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn.
Cannabis bill authors Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, and Sen. Lindsey Port, DFL-Burnsville, conferred before the final conference committee me

Minnesota lawmakers finish marijuana bill, votes up next

A conference committee finished merging the House and Senate bills to legalize recreational use.
DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman, right, and Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic are seeking to pass the final items on their legislative agenda in

As Legislature enters final week, DFL races to finish priorities

Democrats seek to pass a state budget, legalize marijuana and add gun control laws ahead of planned May adjournment.
Democrats’ education bill would increase school funding by $2.2 billion over the next two years.

Minnesota DFL legislators strike deal to give schools $2.2B funding boost

Spending deal includes money for a previously unfunded mandate that school districts raised concerns about.
Sen. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley, said deepfake technology has “the potential to wreak havoc on our society.”

Bill regulating 'deepfake' technology passes Minnesota Senate

The Senate and House bills now head to conference committee, where they'll be merged into one.
The new state program would cover public college tuition costs for students from families making under $80,000 a year.

Legislature passes higher ed bill with free tuition program

Minnesota students from families making under $80,000 annually would qualify for the new free tuition program.
Lead negotiators on the higher education budget deal were Rep. Gene Pelowski and Sen. Omar Fateh.

Higher ed spending deal includes free college tuition for Minn. families who make under $80K

DFL legislative negotiators say it could help alleviate declining enrollment and the state's worker shortage.