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Cannabis Edibles Now Available in Minnesota Under New State Law

Minnesotans who are 21 or older can start buying edibles and beverages that contain THC — the ingredient in cannabis that gets you high — under a new state law that takes effect Friday July 1st 2022.

The new law permits the sale and purchase of edibles and beverages that contain up to 5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per serving and 50 milligrams per package. A 5-milligram THC edible can cause a high feeling for first-time users, while people who are used to cannabis may require 10 to 15 milligrams to feel the same effect.

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Five milligrams is about half the standard dose found in recreational marijuana products in other states.

New THC products must be derived from legally certified hemp, which contains trace amounts of the psychoactive compound, according to the law. But 5 milligrams of THC will produce the same effect whether it’s derived from hemp or marijuana, industry experts say.

“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.”

Cannabis advocates say they can hardly believe the law passed the Minnesota Legislature given Senate Republicans’ opposition to recreational marijuana legalization. Steven Brown, CEO of Nothing But Hemp, said he will begin selling a dozen new THC products Friday at his six Minnesota retail stores, with a few dozen more rolling out over the next month.

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“In some ways, we legalized cannabis,” Brown said.

Rep. Heather Edelson, an Edina Democrat who sponsored the legislation in the House, said the new law was born from an effort to strengthen oversight of the budding market.

Hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products were already legal in Minnesota provided they contained less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, which is the primary intoxicant in marijuana. But that legal threshold did not apply to delta-8 THC, an intoxicating cousin of delta-9. As a result, delta-8 products were widely sold in the state in various forms and at dosages high enough to pose health risks.

The new law’s milligram requirements apply to any form of THC, reining in the delta-8 market while also allowing the sale and purchase of traditional THC edibles and beverages.

Starting Friday, CBD and THC products must be clearly labeled and sold only to those 21 or older. Edibles must be in child-proof and tamper-evident packages, have clearly defined serving sizes and carry the label “Keep this product out of reach of children.”

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“Bringing more consumer protections really was my goal,” said Edelson, though she admitted the new law gives Minnesota a sample of what recreational marijuana legalization could be like: “There was no mystery about what we were doing here.”

The law places no limit on how much can be purchased and does not regulate who can sell CBD and THC products. It also allows the cannabis components to be infused into food and drinks.

Brown is already working with breweries to create nonalcoholic THC beers and seltzers that he will sell in his stores. He said he wants to “promote cannabis over alcohol” to Minnesotans.

Superior Cannabis Co., which has stores in Duluth, Austin, Minn., and Superior, Wis., will soon begin selling THC gummies, president and co-owner Jeff Brinkman said. Coffee shops and bars have already begun reaching out to him about selling CBD products, he said.

“This is really exciting for us,” Brinkman said. “It’s a really good opportunity to demonstrate to legislators [that] legalization is just one step away.”

Tarasek said Minnesota’s new law is a “cannabis industry oddity.” He’s already fielding calls from cannabis companies nationwide that now see Minnesota as a “quasi-legal market.”

Cannabis Edibles Now Available in Minnesota Under New State Law

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