The push to legalize marijuana continues to evolve. For those not interested in smoking or other forms of ingesting the drug, sweeter options exist. Edibles have grown in popularity, with state after state enacting laws to allow consumers to purchase them.
Last month, Minnesota took a significant step in legalizing marijuana without much pre-announcement fanfare. While the legalization of so-called edibles surprised many, multiple public hearings were held, with the legislation taking the traditional path to passage.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes joined the edible craze by passing a law allowing the sale of THC products. Following the announcement, hemp stores throughout the state saw long lines snaking outside their doors.
However, the devil is in the details. The THC law provides that:
- Products can only be sold to people 21 or older
- Purchases are limited to five milligrams for each serving and 50 milligrams per package
- Containers must be childproof
- Edibles cannot be marketed to children
- Edibles cannot look like candy animals or fruit
THC, formally known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical compound with the delta variation serving as the active ingredient that produces the “high effect.” The drug can also be derived from hemp, which is far different than the marijuana plant. The chemical is the same, yet the concentration is lower.
While the Board of Pharmacy is technically responsible for oversight, the bill also calls for the creation of a cannabis management board holding complete regulatory enforcement power. Once established, they will be tasked with approving products and enforcing restrictions.
Approving edibles could serve as a spark to enact laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Minnesota. For now, hemp enthusiasts have new options, with many right around the corner.
Questions remain, however, about how law enforcement and the court system will treat the consumption and possession of edibles. For example, people may wonder whether a police officer can arrest them for DUI based on their driving behavior after consuming edibles. Or whether an employer can terminate them for a positive THC test even though they were using a legal form of the substance. Or whether they still need to worry about federal drug rules and the effect edible consumption may have on immigration status for non-U.S. citizens. Time will tell how these scenarios will play out in Minnesota and federal courts.