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Minnesota Republicans legalize THC edibles, some possibly by accident

  • July 5, 2022
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A Minnesota law went into effect Friday legalizing edibles containing small amounts of THC, the component in cannabis that provides a high, apparently surprising some Republicans, at least one of whom he said he voted for the provision unknowingly.

The law permits the sale of edibles and beverages containing up to 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC per serving. Most edibles in states where recreational cannabis is fully legalized contain 10 milligrams per serving.

The bill’s author, state Rep. Heather Edelson (D), said in a statement that “Minnesotans 21 and older will now be able to obtain the products they want in a safe and regulated manner.”

She added that the legislation was drafted in concert with the state agriculture and pharmacy boards.

The law, which passed the Republican-controlled state Senate in May, was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz (D) last month. But some Republicans told the Star Tribune after the law went into effect that they were caught off guard.

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State Sen. Jim Abeler, a Republican from a Minneapolis suburb, told the newspaper that he hadn’t realized the bill broadly legalized products containing THC. He said he thought it had permitted only delta-8 THC, which provides milder effects, though it also legalized the sale of delta-9 THC, which causes stronger feelings more commonly associated with a high from cannabis products. Abeler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State Sen. Michelle Benson, a Republican from Ham Lake, about 25 miles north of Minneapolis, “dodged repeated questions of whether she herself understood the law would legalize THC edibles,” the paper reported. She told the Star Tribune she wished the state pharmacy board had realized the full impact of the law earlier. Neither Benson

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