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Food and drinks infused with the cannabis ingredient THC became legal Friday in Minnesota

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Minnesota citizens age 21 or older can start buying food and drinks that contain THC — the ingredient in cannabis that makes you high — under a new state law that takes effect Friday.

The new law allows the sale and purchase of food and beverages containing up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving and 50 milligrams per package. 5 mg of edible THC It can cause a high feeling For first-time cannabis users, people who are used to cannabis may need 10 to 15 milligrams to feel the same effect.

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

New THC products must be derived from legally approved hemp, which contains trace amounts of the psychoactive compound, according to the law. Industry experts say that 5 milligrams of THC will produce the same effect whether it is derived from hemp or marijuana.

“These things will get you high, there is no doubt about it,” said attorney Jason Tarasek, founder of Minnesota Cannabis Law and a member of the Minnesota Cannabis Association board of directors. “Everyone calls it hemp-derived THC, which makes it sound like something other than marijuana. But I went on social media and called it marijuana for adults, because that’s what most people consider it to be.”

Cannabis advocates say they can hardly believe the law passed by the Minnesota legislature Republican opposition in the Senate To legalize recreational marijuana. Nothing But Hemp CEO Stephen Brown said he will begin selling dozens of new THC products Friday at six retailers in Minnesota, with a few dozen more coming up over the next month.

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

Edina Representative Heather Edelson, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation in the House, said the new law was born out of 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, the primary intoxicant in marijuana. But that legal limit does not apply to delta-8 THC, delta-9’s intoxicating cousin. As a result, Delta 8 products were sold widely in the state in various forms and in doses 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 buying and selling of traditional THC foods and drinks.

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

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

It’s unclear whether leaders of the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate fully understood that the law would legalize Delta 9 THC before agreeing to pass it. Senator Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, said she knew he would, but “didn’t specifically discuss it” with Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona.

Benson, chair of the Senate Human Services Licensing Policy Committee, said she and some other lawmakers are interested in ending delta-8 THC dosing, which is in an unregulated gray area. But to regulate any type of THC, as the new law states, “you have to choose an amount to measure against,” she said.

Miller declined to comment, to the consternation of Senator Mark Curran, the North Republican chapter, who wrote the Senate version of the Edilson bill explicitly not allowing milligram doses.

“With the federal changes in 2018, the [Minnesota] The Board of Pharmacy and the Ministry of Agriculture have recognized the need for regulations on certain products and have worked with the legislature to do so “Restricting the market…that’s what this law does,” Qur’an said in a statement.

Senator Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, who chairs the Senate Human Services Reform Committee on Finance and Policy, said he did not realize the new law would legalize foodstuffs containing delta-9 THC before it was passed. He thought the law would only regulate delta-8 THC products.

“I thought we were doing a technical reform, and it ended up having a broader impact than I expected,” Abeler said, adding that the legislature should consider rolling back the new law.

House Democrats and Governor Tim Walz, both of whom support the legalization of recreational marijuana, are unlikely to agree to such a request. Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, called Abeller’s proposal to repeal the law “ridiculous” and said Democrats had no interest in doing so.

“Ebeller voted for it and signed the conference report,” Winkler said. “This is a step forward toward a policy that we strongly support.”

The law does not place a limit on the number of CBD and THC products that can be purchased and does not regulate who can sell them. It also allows cannabis ingredients to be soaked in foods and beverages.

Brown is already working with breweries to produce the non-alcoholic THC and beer that he will sell in his stores. He said he wanted to “promote cannabis instead of alcohol” in Minnesota.

Superior Cannabis Company, which has stores in Duluth; Austin, MN; and Superior, Wis. THC gum will soon begin selling, said Jeff Brinkman, president and co-owner. He said that cafes and bars have already started contacting him about selling CBD products.

“That’s really exciting for us,” Brinkman said. “It’s a really good opportunity to demonstrate in front of lawmakers [that] Legalization is only one step away.”

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

“I get calls from all over the country saying, ‘What is this?'” Tarasek said. We’ve never seen this before.” “They want to jump.”

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