Minnesota is a real oddity in the world of Cannabis. The North Star State just became the only state to allow adult-use THC-infused edibles and drinks without legalizing marijuana itself.
State residents 21 and older can today (Friday, July 1, 2022) start buying edibles and beverages that contain THC, reports the Star Tribune. THC is the main ingredient in cannabis that gets you high.
The new law permits 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. But people accustomed to marijuana often require a larger dose to feel the effect.
In most states where adult-use marijuana is legal, 10 mg is a ”serving.”
Weed devotees and medical marijuana patients, however, often prefer much higher doses, even measured in the hundreds of milligrams.
Minnesota THC Must Come From Hemp
THC products in Minnesota must be derived from legally certified hemp, which contains trace amounts of the psychoactive compound, according to the law. But THC will produce the same effect whether it’s derived from hemp or marijuana.
“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 are amazed the law passed the Minnesota Legislature, given Senate Republicans’ opposition to adult-use Cannabis legalization. Steven Brown, CEO of Nothing But Hemp, began selling a dozen new THC products Friday. Nothing But Hemp operates six Minnesota retail stores. The chain plans to roll out a few dozen more THC products over the next month.
“In some ways, we legalized cannabis,” Brown said.
Delta-9 Is Oh So Fine
Rep. Heather Edelson (photo above), a Democrat from Edina, Minn., sponsored the legislation in the House. She said the new law sprang from an effort to strengthen oversight of the emerging market.
Hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products were already legal in Minnesota, provided they contained less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC is the primary consciousness-altering cannabinoid in marijuana. But that legal threshold did not apply to delta-8 THC, first cousin of delta-9, and it will also get you high. As a result, delta-8 products are widely sold in the state in various forms.
The new law’s milligram requirements apply to any form of THC. That regulates the delta-8 market, while also allowing regular THC edibles and beverages.
“There Was No Mystery About What We Were Doing Here”
Starting Friday, CBD and THC products must be clearly labeled and sold only to those 21 and up. Edibles must be in child-proof and tamper-evident packages. The law requires clearly defined serving sizes. Packages must carry the label, “Keep this product out of reach of children.”
“Bringing more consumer protections really was my goal,” Edelson said. But she granted the new law gives Minnesota a sample of adult-use marijuana legalization: “There was no mystery about what we were doing here.”
If other non-legal states choose this sensible method of reining in the delta-8 market — by providing head-to-head (see what we did there?) competition from delta-9 THC — that can only be a good thing.