Minnesota’s THC edibles law surprises some GOP lawmakers: NPR

An employee presents a lemonade-flavored cannabis gummy candy in the industrial kitchen of Chalice Farms in Portland, Oregon, in June 2016.

Gillian Flaccus/AP


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Gillian Flaccus/AP


An employee presents a lemonade-flavored cannabis gummy candy in the industrial kitchen of Chalice Farms in Portland, Oregon, in June 2016.

Gillian Flaccus/AP

A new Minnesota law allows people 21 and older to buy and consume foods and beverages containing a small amount of hemp-derived THC, but some lawmakers may have misunderstood the bill before adopting it.

The new law states that foods and beverages cannot contain more than 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC per serving and no more than 50 milligrams per serving. package.

Although marijuana-derived THC is still illegal in Minnesota, hemp-derived THC is chemically the same. Marijuana and hemp come from the same cannabis plant, although the plants are grown differently, with high THC marijuana plants and very low THC hemp plants.

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical that causes the high in marijuana.

The nature of the Republican-controlled Senate, which has opposed efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in the past, raises questions about whether the legalization was accidental.

Minnesota State Senator Jim Abeler, a Republican from Anoka, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he was unaware that this law would allow THC-infused edibles of all kinds and thought it would only apply to delta-8 THC products.

Delta-8 THC, which is similar to standard delta-9 THC, has not been thoroughly studied or understood, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention. Delta-8 is found naturally in cannabis plants, but in trace amounts. Delta-8 also does not produce the same amount of “high” as delta-9.

But due to a technicality, delta-8 is considered federally legal and is often available at gas stations and convenience stores. Minnesota lawmakers had sought to regulate this market.

After a amendment passed unanimously during a Minnesota legislative session in May, state Senator Abeler jokingly said: “It doesn’t legalize marijuana – we just didn’t do it, did we?”

When Abeler laughed, Rep. Tina Liebling, a Democrat from Rochester, said, “Oh, are you kidding? Of course you are. No, just kidding. Then we’ll do that next, okay?”

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