It’s official: Minnesota governor signs hemp THC edibles law

It’s official: Minnesota governor signs hemp THC edibles law

U.S. Hemp Roundtable calls law ‘mostly good’ but vows to fight age restrictions on CBD.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed legislation June 2 setting limits on THC in hemp edibles. The law will take effect August 1.

As previously reported by Nothing But Hemp, the law is cause for celebration within the state’s hemp industry because it formally legalizes products within the new limits. The legislation allows up to 5 milligrams hemp-derived THC per serving in food products and beverages — including delta-9 THC sourced from hemp.

“Right now we have clarity in the industry, which is exactly what we were looking for,” Nothing But Hemp co-founder Steven Brown told WCCO News.

For the last two to three years, gummies and extracts containing hemp-derived THC have been available to Minnesotans as part of an unregulated gray market, technically legal under the 2018 Farm Act. But the threat of bans and product seizures loomed. Supporters of the new law have pointed out that the regulations give retailers certainty while ensuring products on shelves are tested for contaminants and not marketed to children.

The new law also officially makes edibles and drinks containing non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD legal. These have become increasingly popular in Minnesota since the passage of the Farm Act, but have been subject to some scrutiny by the state’s Board of Pharmacy because they’re not yet approved or regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration. A 2021 appeals court ruling also put into question the legality of extracts containing any THC, even the trace amounts found in CBD. This law clarifies the issue.

Lastly, the new law sets a 21-and-up age restriction for all hemp-derived cannabinoid products, intoxicating or not.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a nonprofit advocacy organization, sees the legislation as a step in the right direction except for the age restrictions on non-intoxicating cannabinoids.

“While the law is mostly positive, we will mobilize next year to ensure the age restriction does not apply to non-intoxicating hemp products,” the Roundtable wrote in an update to its supporters.

“While the law is mostly positive, we will mobilize next year to ensure the age restriction does not apply to non-intoxicating hemp products.”

— U.S. Hemp Roundtable

The Roundtable said changes to the bill during the legislative process had improved it. The original version of the bill, HF 3595, stalled in the legislature until it was added to an unrelated bill about long-term care consultation services, according to the Roundtable. That bill, HF 4065, passed the Senate in a 66-0 vote and the House in a closer contest, 68 for and 65 against, on May 22.

“The good news is that HF 3595’s original language was significantly improved in HF 4065,” the Roundtable wrote in the days between the bill’s approval by legislators and its final signature into law. “Under the new language, edible cannabinoids products with 0.3% or less THC may be sold, subject to labeling, packaging, and testing restrictions. Arbitrary and onerous THC limits were increased to 5mg per serving/50mg per package. And, with the growing trend in states like Michigan and Oregon, intoxicating cannabinoids under these THC limits are restricted to adults only.

“Unfortunately,” the Roundtable continued, “the legislature used a bit too broad a brush and swept all hemp-derived cannabinoid products into the 21 or older restriction lane.”

Brown of Nothing But Hemp was more optimistic.

“Overall, this is going to create new businesses, new opportunities, new products,” he told WCCO. “And it’s going to be really good for consumers.”