On July 1st, 2022, a new THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) law took effect and shifted the cannabis industry in a new direction for the state of Minnesota. THC is the elevating compound found abundantly in marijuana but is also found in hemp in much lower quantities. THC is found in both plants because they are both cannabis. The distinction between hemp and marijuana is a legal one that is based on THC level regulation.
Both federal law and Minnesota state law say that hemp or its derivatives are limited to containing no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. If that 0.3% limit is exceeded, that plant is no longer considered hemp and is now viewed as marijuana. While the plants can often have different genetics that lead them to different end uses, they can often look identical to each other and even match the same aromas. To make things even more confusing, THC from marijuana and THC from hemp is chemically the same compound. There is no difference when compared side-by-side. This also means that lab tests for pre-employment drug screens and screenings for other purposes are not able to distinguish if THC metabolites came from marijuana or hemp.
The new law allows the consumption of hemp-derived THC in the form of food and beverages for adults 21 years of age and older. However, there are limits in place that regulate each serving in a package to contain no more than 5 milligrams (mg) of THC and the entire package is limited to containing no more than 50 mg of THC. A common way you will see edibles for sale in Minnesota will be a package of ten “gummies” where each gummy is considered a 5 mg serving for a total of 50 mg of THC in the package. The packages must also be opaque and childproof, and the product must have gone through a variety of lab testing for potency and quality.
While many Minnesotans are welcoming the legislation with open arms, there is still work to be done to define the framework of guidance for both buyers and sellers. Jason Tarasek is a Cannabis Attorney at Minnesota Cannabis Law and board member of the Minnesota Cannabis Association who recently was on air with Minnesota Public Radio regarding this new legislation. Currently, “there are no restrictions on who can sell and where it can be sold” (Tarasek, 2022). Tarasek also refers to there not being any limits on how many packages can be bought or sold at one time and “I think everyone is going to recognize that these hemp derived products perhaps require more regulation. And we need, perhaps, a little more guidance on how this law is gonna be allowed to proceed” (Tarasek, 2022).
In my opinion, this legislation is opening doors that will lead to further regulation of adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. Further guidance regarding licensing, established purchase limits, and providing a general framework of accountability for buyers and sellers will be in our near future. In comparison to many other states, we are unique because our adult-use recreational cannabis industry requires our THC to be hemp-derived while other states have marijuana-derived THC which is overseen by various governing agencies and is taxed in different ways. The Minnesota legislature will be back in session in January of 2023, and I would expect to see some changes to the current law.
In the meantime, if you decide to partake in the ingestion of THC, I encourage you to go “low and slow”. Remember, THC has a euphoric and elevating effect in the right quantities. Try half to one gummy first and let it ingest for a couple of hours. At this point reevaluate and see how you feel. Depending on how your experience went, increase, or decrease as needed. Too much THC can make a person feel anxious and is unpleasant. Finding just the right amount for you is key! Our customers are buying THC gummies for multiple purposes ranging from sleep issues, pain issues, relaxation, and recreation.
As always, consult with your primary care provider before starting something new. THC can have intoxicating euphoric effects and should not be ingested while driving vehicles, operating machinery, and other dangerous activities.
Tarasek, J. (2022, July 13). Ask US anything about Minnesota’s new THC Edibles Law. MPR News. Retrieved August 27, 2022, from https://www.mprnews.org
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