Minnesota is now “Minne-stona” thanks to a new state law legalizing THC edibles and beverages.
The new law, which took effect on Friday, allows adults 21 and older to purchase cannabis consumables containing a limited amount of THC, the ingredient that makes “goofy weed”, well, goofy.
By law, jarred edibles and bud-enriched beverages can contain up to at 5 milligrams of THC per serving, about half the standard dose found in recreational marijuana products in other states, according to the Associated Press. Each packet is limited to a total of 50 milligrams.
Although the law requires that new THC products be derived from legally certified hemp and not marijuana, attorney Jason Tarasek, founder of Minnesota Cannabis Law and a board member of the Minnesota Cannabis Association, told the Star-Tribune that 5 milligrams produced the same effect, whether derived from hemp or marijuana.
“This stuff will definitely get you high,” Tarasek said. “Everyone calls it hemp-derived THC, which makes it look like something other than marijuana. But I went on social media and called it adult-use marijuana, because it is what most people will consider to be that.
Many Minnesota marijuana advocates were frankly surprised that the bill passed the state’s Republican-controlled Senate.
It’s unclear whether state senate leaders fully understood the law would legalize Delta 9 THC edibles before agreeing to pass it.
Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) admitted to the Star-Tribune that he thinks the new law will only regulate Delta 8 THC products and doesn’t realize the new law will legalize edibles with any type of THC. .
Both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are cannabinoids found in cannabis, but Delta 9 is more common and easier to extract, according to DiscoverMagazine.com. While Delta 9 is more potent, it also has more side effects, including mind fog. Delta 8 would tend to just relax people.
“I thought we were doing a technical fix, and it ended up having a wider impact than expected,” Abeler said.
He appeared surprised after the amendment passed unanimously, saying, “It doesn’t legalize marijuana — we didn’t just do that,” according to the Minnesota Reformer, who noted he had laughed after saying that.
“Oh, are you kidding?” replied Rep. Tina Liebling (D-Rochester), according to the reformer. “Of course you did. No I’m kidding. We’ll do that next, okay?”
But they didn’t need to — the bill legalized pot.
Now Abeler hopes the new law can be overturned, but that’s highly unlikely given the Democratic government. Tim Walz and the Democratic-controlled House support the legalization of rrecreational marijuana.
In fact, Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) mocked Abeler’s suggestion, calling it “ridiculous.”
Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) said the new law would regulate the state’s nascent cannabis industry and enact safeguards, but did not say whether the Senate intended the law to authorize the marketing of new THC products.
Star-Tribune reporter Ryan Faircloth said on Twitter that the two politicians’ statements suggested the law’s passage was unintentional.
Some Minnesota Democratic politicians scoffed at the likely mistake of their fellow Republicans.