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The Legislature stumbles into legalizing THC, for better or worse | Column

  • July 20, 2022

In the final days of the legislative session in May, a bipartisan panel was negotiating the differences between health and human services bills passed by the DFL-led House and GOP-controlled Senate.

They had hundreds of pages to get through, and a bevy of amendments to approve, including one “exempting cannabinoids derived from hemp from Schedule 1 of the controlled substances schedule.”

Not in so many words: Legalizing weed.

After the amendment passed on a unanimous voice vote, here’s state Mon. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka: “That doesn’t legalize marijuana — we didn’t just do that.”

He chuckled.

His DFL co-chair, Rep. Tina Liebling of Rochester replied, “Oh, are you kidding? Of course you have. No, just kidding. We’ll do that next, OK?”

Well, actually, they did it.

As of Friday, July 1, 2022, products with THC — the chemical that gets you high — from “legally certified hemp” can now be manufactured, distributed and sold in Minnesota, in 5-mg increment edibles and drinks.

That’s enough to amp up an episode of “South Park” or deepen the groove at a Khruangbin concert.

If that exchange in the waning days of the session doesn’t sound like the most thoughtful legislation, you might be onto something.

I asked one of the bill’s chief architects, Rep. Heather Edelson, DFL-Edina, who would regulate this newly legal intoxicant. First she said it would be the state Department of Agriculture. She corrected herself in a text and said it would be the Board of Pharmacy.

Jill Phillips, the new executive director of the Board of Pharmacy, has been gifted with this new dung sandwich of responsibility, which is nothing like their current mission.

“We’re set up to regulate licensees,” she told me. Meaning: licensed pharmacists and pharmacies.

But the new THC law doesn’t even require a license

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Minnesota lawmakers voted to legalize THC edibles. Some did it accidentally

  • July 5, 2022

A new Minnesota law lets people 21 and over buy and consume food and beverages with a small amount of hemp-derived THC, but some legislators might not have fully understood the bill before passing it.

The new law says food and beverages cannot contain more than 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC per serving and no more than 50 milligrams per minnesota” class=”Link”package.

Although marijuana-derived THC is still illegal in Minnesota, THC derived from hemp is chemically the same. Marijuana and hemp come from the same cannabis plant, though the plants are bred differently, with marijuana plants high in THC and hemp plants very low in THC.

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical that causes the high of marijuana.

The nature of the Republican-controlled Senate, which has opposed recreational marijuana legalization efforts in the past, raises questions about whether the legalization was accidental.

Minnesota state Mon. Jim Abeler, a Republican from Anoka, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he did not realize this law would allow THC-infused edibles of any kind and thought it would only apply to delta-8 THC products.

Delta-8 THC, which is similar to the standard delta-9 THC, has not been extensively researched or understood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Delta-8 is found naturally in cannabis plants but in trace amounts. Delta-8 also does not produce the same amount of “high” as delta-9.

But because of a technicality, delta-8 is considered federally legal and is often available at gas stations and convenience stores. Lawmakers in Minnesota had sought to regulate this market.

after an amendment passed unanimously during a Minnesota legislative session in May, state Sen. Abeler jokingly said: “That doesn’t legalize marijuana — we just didn’t do that, did we?”

When Abeler proceeded to laugh, Rep. Tina

Read the rest
More

Minnesota lawmakers voted to legalize THC edibles. Some did it accidentally

  • July 5, 2022

A new Minnesota law lets people 21 and over buy and consume food and beverages with a small amount of hemp-derived THC, but some legislators might not have fully understood the bill before passing it.

The new law says food and beverages cannot contain more than 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC per serving and no more than 50 milligrams per minnesota” class=”Link”package.

Although marijuana-derived THC is still illegal in Minnesota, THC derived from hemp is chemically the same. Marijuana and hemp come from the same cannabis plant, though the plants are bred differently, with marijuana plants high in THC and hemp plants very low in THC.

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical that causes the high of marijuana.

The nature of the Republican-controlled Senate, which has opposed recreational marijuana legalization efforts in the past, raises questions about whether the legalization was accidental.

Minnesota state Mon. Jim Abeler, a Republican from Anoka, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he did not realize this law would allow THC-infused edibles of any kind and thought it would only apply to delta-8 THC products.

Delta-8 THC, which is similar to the standard delta-9 THC, has not been extensively researched or understood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Delta-8 is found naturally in cannabis plants but in trace amounts. Delta-8 also does not produce the same amount of “high” as delta-9.

But because of a technicality, delta-8 is considered federally legal and is often available at gas stations and convenience stores. Lawmakers in Minnesota had sought to regulate this market.

after an amendment passed unanimously during a Minnesota legislative session in May, state Sen. Abeler jokingly said: “That doesn’t legalize marijuana — we just didn’t do that, did we?”

When Abeler proceeded to laugh, Rep. Tina

Read the rest