Cannabis News

THC Edibles Now Legal in Minnesota

A new state law went into effect Friday in Minnesota, allowing the sale of edibles containing the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Under this measure, foods and beverages can be infused with up to 0.3% THC, although the cannabinoid can only be derived from hemp.

The measure allows foods and beverages to be infused with up to 0.3% THC, as long as the cannabinoid comes from legally produced hemp, which was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill. edibles containing up to 5 mg of THC per serving, with a maximum of 50 mg per package. The sale of edibles containing hemp-derived THC is restricted to adults 21 and older.

Cannabis advocates say they are surprised the bill will pass at the end of the 2022 legislative session, as Republicans in the state Senate have strongly opposed bills that would legalize recreational cannabis use. Steven Brown, CEO of Nothing But Hemp, said he plans to start selling up to a dozen new products containing hemp-derived THC at his six Minnesota retail stores. He expects dozens of additional products to be available within months.

“In a way, we have legalized cannabis”, Brown told local media.

THC hemp products legalized by 2018 Farm Bill

Although hemp products containing up to 0.3% delta-9 THC were already legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, the legislation did not impose a limit on delta-8 THC, which can also be derived from hemp. The Minnesota bill was drafted in part to combat the proliferation of delta-8 THC products, many of which contain large amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid.

State Rep. Heather Edelson drafted the House version of the bill. She said the measure is intended to address a public health concern, noting that since hemp-derived THC products have become available in Minnesota, there has been an increase in calls to poison control centers.

“There were these products that weren’t really regulated. But people were consuming them,” Edelson told Minnesota Public Radio. “They were sold statewide in Minnesota, and a lot of them at gas stations.”

The legislation includes labeling requirements for foods and beverages containing THC hemp. Products containing CBD or THC must be clearly labeled and sold only to adults 21 and older. The law does not regulate who can sell hemp and THC foods or drinks and does not set a limit on the number of products that can be purchased.

Republican Sen. Mark Koran, the author of the Senate version of the bill, said he followed the lead of state health officials in drafting the legislation.

“With the federal changes of 2018, the [Minnesota] The Board of Pharmacy and the Department of Agriculture have recognized the need for regulations on certain products and have worked with the legislature to restrict the market,” Koran said in a statement. “That’s what this bill does.”

Although the amount of THC allowed is quite low compared to infused foods and beverages allowed in states that have legalized cannabis for adult use, they contain enough THC to have psychoactive effects, especially for the uninitiated user. And with no limit on the number of products that can be purchased, even higher doses are readily available.

“This stuff will get you high, there’s no doubt about it,” said attorney Jason Tarasek, founder of Minnesota Cannabis Law and a board member of the Minnesota Cannabis Association. “Everyone calls it hemp-derived THC, which makes it look like something other than marijuana. But I went on social media and called it adult-use marijuana, because it is what most people will consider to be that.

Minnesota senator wants new law changed

Republican Sen. Jim Abeler, chairman of the Senate Finance Reform and Human Services Policy Committee, said he didn’t realize the bill legalized edibles containing delta-9 THC, adding that he believed the legislation only applied to products containing delta-8 THC. .

“I thought we were doing a technical fix, and it ended up having a broader impact than expected,” Abeler said, saying the state legislature should consider rolling back the new law.

But Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, who supports global efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, said Abeler’s suggestion to overturn the law is “ridiculous,” noting the senator “voted for it.”

He signed off on the conference report,” Winkler said. “This is a step towards a policy that we strongly support.”

Edelson agreed, saying “Bringing more protections to consumers was really my goal.” But she admitted the new law brings Minnesota closer to legalizing recreational marijuana. “There was no mystery about what we were doing here.”

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