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THC Edibles Now Legal in Minnesota

Minnesota’s new law allows edibles containing THC to be sold. It was passed Friday. The measure allows foods and drinks to be infused with 0.3% THC. However, the cannabinoid cannot be extracted from hemp.

Foods and beverages can now be infused with 0.3% THC if they are made from legal-produced hemp. This was allowed by the 2018 Farm Bill. It allows edibles to have up to 5mg THC per serve, and 50mg per packet. Only adults over 21 can sell edibles that contain hemp-derived THC.

The bill was passed by cannabis advocates at the close of the 2022 legislative session. This is because Republicans in Minnesota’s state Senate were staunchly against legalizing recreational marijuana use. Steven Brown (CEO of Nothing But Hemp) stated that he will begin selling up to 12 new products with cannabis-derived THC in his six Minnesota retail shops. Within a matter of months, there will be dozens more products.

“In some ways, we legalized cannabis,” Brown told local media.

Hemp THC Products Made Legal by the 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill already allowed hemp products with 0.3% or more delta-9 THC. However, it did not limit delta-8 THC which may also be extracted from hemp. Minnesota’s bill addressed the issue of high levels of delta-8 THC in hemp products.

Heather Edelson, State Representative, was the one who drafted the House-version of the bill. According to Edelson, the bill is designed to address a health concern.

“There were these products that essentially didn’t really have regulations on them. But people were consuming them,” Edelson told Minnesota Public Radio. “They were being sold all over the state of Minnesota, and a lot of them in gas stations.”

This legislation also requires labeling for products and drinks containing cannabis THC. THC or CBD products must be labeled clearly and only adults over 21 years old can purchase them. There is no limit to the amount of THC-infused food or drinks that are sold.

Republican Senator Mark Koran (Senate version) said that he drafted the legislation following the example of health officials from the states.

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

Even though the permitted amount of THC is relatively low in comparison to the infused beverages and foods allowed in legal states for adult-use cannabis, these products still contain sufficient THC to produce psychoactive effects. There is no limit to the amount of products you can buy, so even more doses are possible.

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

Minnesota senator wants a new law changed

Republican Senator Jim Abeler is the Chair of the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee. He stated that he didn’t realize the bill allowed edibles with delta-9THC, and that it only applies to delta-8 THC products.

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

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

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

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