For Minnesotans 21 and older, there is a new state law to purchase specific edibles and beverages containing the active ingredient in marijuana.
A new state law took effect earlier this month, allowing Minnesotans to buy certain edibles and beverages containing small amounts of THC, one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant that produces the drug's psychoactive effect.
THC and CBD are the two most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and products containing both are more effective as medicines. Below we break down everything you need to know about Minnesota's new law.
What kinds of products are legal under the new law?
The new law allows the sale and purchase of edibles — such as gummies, hard candy, or chocolates — and beverages that contain up to 5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per serving and 50 milligrams per package and no more than 0.3% THC by weight. Products containing THC, as well as those containing cannabidiol (CBD), must be clearly labeled and can only be sold to those 21 and older. Edibles must have the serving size clearly defined, be in child-proof packaging, and carry the label, "Keep this product out of reach of children."
According to the law, THC products sold in Minnesota must come from legally-certified hemp containing no more than 0.3% THC by weight. Cannabis flowers and all THC-containing products (from the marijuana plant) remain illegal in Minnesota for recreational use.
The law does not limit how many CBD and THC products can be purchased or regulate who can sell them.
What is the difference between hemp-derived THC and marijuana-derived THC?
There is no difference between them, either chemically or in effect — the hemp plant contains less THC than the marijuana plant. Hemp and marijuana are products of the same plant, Cannabis sativa. Hemp has been cultivated for centuries to produce solid fibers for making rope, textiles, and other products, with minimal THC content. Flowers from cannabis plants usually have a higher THC content and more significant psychoactive effects.
While hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, it may include any number of other cannabinoids, including CBD and delta-8 THC — a milder but still psychoactive relative of delta-9 THC.
Will hemp-derived THC get me high?
A 5-milligram THC edible can cause a high feeling for new or infrequent users, while people who are used to cannabis may require a larger dose to feel the same effect. It's important to remember that edibles can take a long time to kick in and can be very unpleasant if too much is consumed. The best advice for edibles is, "Go low, and take it slow," -start with a low dosage and be patient (giving the edible at least an hour or two to take effect). Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. Do not drive after consuming THC products.
Can hemp-derived THC show up on a drug test?
Yes. Hemp-derived THC is chemically identical to the THC found in marijuana.
How will THC products be regulated in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has authority over drug products intended for human or animal consumption, including hemp-derived THC products. However, according to information released by the board recently, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of products containing hemp-derived substances are not required to be licensed. The panel will not test or approve such products, and it does not currently have a lab to test hemp-derived THC products, according to board executive director Jill Phillips. But it is working on setting up a lab and will rely on consumer complaints to aid in oversight.
Manufacturers of products that contain hemp-derived cannabinoids are required to submit samples of all such products to an independent, accredited laboratory for certification that they comply with state law. Manufacturers are not required to submit those tests to the state pharmacy board but must do so upon request.
Several Minnesota cities plan to regulate THC-infused edibles and beverages locally without state restrictions on who can manufacture or sell the products.
Where can I buy products containing THC?
The law does not specify which retailers can sell THC products. However, it does prohibit bars, restaurants, and other businesses that prepare food and beverages for onsite or takeaway consumption from making products with cannabinoids.
Some stores that sell hemp and CBD products in the Twin Cities area began carrying THC products last week.
How does Minnesota's new law differ from those in states that have legalized recreational marijuana?
While the Minnesota law includes testing, packaging, and labeling requirements for commercial THC products, it does not require sales from state-licensed dispensaries or that manufacturers be licensed. The 5-milligram limit per serving is less than the 10-milligram limit for edible THC products sold in 19 other states that have legalized adult-use marijuana. The state also has not set up an agency specifically focused on regulating the cannabis industry, as other states have, and the law does not require taxation of THC products.