The Democratic leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives recently detailed that the passing of the state’s newly enacted law allowing THC edibles for adults was an premeditated legislative step meant to open the door to broader marijuana legalization.
Marijuana legalization is opposed by many Republican colleagues who ultimately voted for the incremental reform. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL), who has consistently championed legalization in the legislature, highlighted that the legislation that took effect last week was debated and passed in a public forum, so GOP members who have since expressed reservations about the edibles provisions after voting in favor of the bill don’t exactly have an excuse.
In fact, Winkler suggested Republican lawmakers in Minnesota who don’t want to see adult-use legalization only have themselves to blame for paving the path for more comprehensive marijuana legislation down the line.
“We absolutely did this on purpose. It was an intentional step forward,” the leader stated, “and it is an opportunity for Minnesota businesses and Minnesota consumers to have access to a product that can be safe and is widely available and used today—however, through an illicit marketplace.”
Winkler further suggested that he and his colleagues have been strategic by not necessarily publicizing the edible policy change in the new law, which further establishes regulations for products infused with Delta 8 THC and other cannabinoids.
Minnesota and Delta 8 THC
The now-effective policy clarifies that adults 21 and older can possess and consume hemp-based edibles contain up to five milligrams of THC per serving, with a maximum 50 milligrams THC per package. The products cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight, per state and federal hemp statute.
The THC limit will apply to all forms of the psychoactive compounds, including the most widely known compound Delta-9 THC, as well as other increasingly popular derivatives like delta-8 that exist in an especially grey regulatory area in many state markets—although a federal court ruled last month that the isomer is legal under the Farm Bill.
The law prompted Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee Chairman Jim Abeler (R) to call for a rollback because he was under the impression that the bill he voted for only concerned Delta 8 THC rules.
“We have a lot of work to do in Minnesota on cannabis legalization, but this is an important step forward—and the door is now open to consumers having access to products containing THC that many of them prefer to consume,” Winkler added. “I don’t think we are going to go backwards.”
Notably, the bill also creates an age limit for the sale of any hemp-derived cannabinoids, making it so they could only be sold to adults 21 and older — as well as testing, labeling and packaging requirements for hemp products.