New Hashish Edible Regulation Surprises Some Minnesota Legislators and Regulators

A new state law goes into effect Friday legalize junk food Containing a certain amount of the cannabis ingredient that makes you soar seems to have surprised some state regulators and legislators – revealing that some people who signed the legislation may not fully understand enough of what’s in it.

Minnesotans age 21 and older can now purchase THC-infused foods and drinks that contain no more than 5 milligrams per serving and 50 milligrams per packet. Five milligrams is about half the standard dose found in recreational cannabis products in other states.

The head of the Minnesota Pharmaceutical Council, which will have regulatory authority over new hemp-derived cannabis products, says legalization of THC-containing foods and drinks does not in the original hemp industry reform bill that the council helped build.

“Some things were changed at the eleventh hour, especially 5 milligrams and 50 milligrams,” said Jill Phillips, chief executive officer of the pharmacy board. “But here we are. It has been passed and we will do our best to support it.”

New Minnesota products must be derived from legally certified hemp – containing trace amounts of the psychoactive compound THC – and not marijuana, which is still illegal in the state.

But THC will produce the same effect whether it’s derived from hemp or marijuana, industry experts say.

Rep. Heather Edelson, an Edina Democrat who sponsors legislation in the House, rejected Phillips’ claim that the bill was changed at the “eleventh hour.” Edelson said the milligram dosage language was added to the bill before the end of the session and noted that the House had held three committee hearings on the law.

“It’s put in there with complete transparency,” Edelson said.

E-mails exchanged in March between Edelson, a DFL House employee, and Cody Wiberg, a former director of the pharmacy board, show that the board was well aware of the decision to include in the bill THC edibles containing up to 5 milligrams each serving.

“Changing the THC limits is a political call,” I thought, “wiberg wrote in a March 22 e-mail to Edelson and two employees. “A 5mg THC marshmallow can make some people get elevated – children and adults don’t use THC products much. But the Council will not object to this change.”

The new law emerged from an effort to strengthen market regulations for hemp-derived products.

Hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products are legal in Minnesota, provided they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, the main intoxicant in marijuana. But that legal threshold does not apply to delta-8 THC, an intoxicating cousin of delta-9. As a result, delta-8 products have been widely sold in the state in various forms and in doses high enough to pose health risks, Edelson said.

The new law’s milligram requirements apply to any form of THC, improving the delta-8 market while also legitimizing the purchase and sale of traditional delta-9 THC foods and beverages.

“Our goal is to bring clarity and certainty into the market for these products and in doing so we have created a safe harbor, essentially, for the sale of food and drink. has a THC content of 0.3% and is up to 5 milligrams, which is very close to what we would achieve in a legalized market for those types of products,” said House Majority Leader Ryan. Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, said.

Phillips said the legalization of THC edibles was not done at the request of the Pharmacy Department. But council staff did not object to the 5-milligram and 50-milligram limits because “products containing much higher amounts of delta-8 are being sold due to the vagueness of current legislation,” Phillips said.

Republican Senator Michelle Benson, of Ham Lake, said she was disappointed that the Pharmacy Council did not realize the full impact of the law sooner.

But Benson, who sat on the conference committee that approved the bill, dodged repeated questions about whether she herself understood the law would legalize THC edibles in a message exchange with the Star Tribune. or not.

In a statement, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller touted new legislation aimed at regulating the hemp product industry and enacting safeguards to keep children away. .

CBD and THC products must be clearly labeled and sold only to people 21 years of age and older under the new law. Snacks and beverages must be in child-proof and tamper-proof packaging, have clearly defined portions, and have a “Keep this product out of reach of children” label.

However, Miller’s statement did not say whether the Senate intended to allow new THC products to enter the market.

Senator Jim Abeler, a Republican from Anoka who chairs the Senate Human Services Reform Policy and Finance Committee, told the Star Tribune that he didn’t realize the new law would legalize the dish contained any THC before it was passed. He thinks it will only regulate delta-8 THC products.

Abeler said the Legislature should consider rolling back the new law, but Winkler said Democrats are not interested in doing so. House Democrats support full legalization of recreational marijuana while Senate Republicans oppose it.

The law does not limit the number of CBD and THC products that can be purchased and does not regulate who can manufacture or sell them. Department of Pharmacy released some tutorials Thursday to answer frequently asked questions about the new law.

“There is no agency at this time to license manufacturing or retail businesses,” Phillips said.

The Pharmacy Board employs 23 people and doesn’t have the resources to test all new products, said Phillips, so it will rely on consumer complaints. The board also does not have a lab to test hemp-derived THC products, but Phillips said the board is working to set up one.

She called on the Legislature to consider State Office of Cannabis Regulatory Affairs to monitor all things cannabis. The Board of Drugs and the Department of Agriculture currently share oversight for industrial hemp and hemp products, while Minnesota’s medical marijuana program is housed within the Department of Health. .

Edelson admits the new law has “opened the door” for THC-infused products to hit the market. She said state lawmakers must pass more specific regulations when they next convene at Capitol.

At the Nothing But Hemp store on Grand Avenue in St.

When Dylan and Lindsey Crepps were in St. Paul waited, they considered whether the new law could lead to the full legalization of recreational marijuana in Minnesota.

“This is the gateway, isn’t it?” Lindsey Crepps said. “I mean, if you’re selling edibles, THC, delta-9, you’re basically selling real flowers. So what’s the difference, you know what I mean?”

“This is like a child stepping into something that is bound to happen sooner or later,” says Dylan Crepps. “It’s widespread, anyway.”

Staff writer Katelyn Vue contributed to this story.

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