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Richfield, MN Places One-Year Ban on THC Edibles

The Minneapolis suburb’s city council passed a ban on selling all edible THC products.

This past Tuesday, the City Council of Richfield, MN, approved a one-year prohibition on selling all Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC edible products in the city.


The resolution passed with a 4-1 vote, with the governing body ratifying city officials' recommendations to pause the sale of food and drinks containing THC allowing staff time to prepare an appropriate ordinance to better regulate and license the products in question.


The sale of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC edibles was legalized in Minnesota in 2018. Moreover, just this past July, the state legislature passed a law to make legal food and beverages containing the higher THC content Delta-9 strain.


The July bill contained no provisions concerning regulation and licensing requirements, compelling some cities to quickly patch together local ordinances to combat the sale even as companies began selling a wide assortment of edible THC products in Minnesota.


According to the contents of the council's agenda packet, because of the concerns over the perceived lack of state oversight and accountability surrounding the manufacturing, production, testing and distribution of products, Richfield councilors were encouraged to pass the one-year moratorium. The hope is that the city, during that period, would have an appropriate amount of time to "study the impacts of cannabis products and prepare an ordinance and licensing structure for Council consideration."


Sean Hayford Oleary, the single dissenting vote among the council members, says the law will go into effect on Dec. 1st. He also shared via Twitter that he sorely regrets the council's decision due mainly to the detrimental impact the action will have on businesses in Richfield.


In his tweet, he shares, "Richfield will be a regulatory island. These products are legally sold without restriction in Minneapolis and Bloomington. They are available in Edina, subject to a licensing ordinance. In fact, the closest city with a complete moratorium is Savage — nearly 10 miles away."


"Richfield will be a regulatory island. These products are legally sold without restriction in Minneapolis and Bloomington. They are available in Edina, subject to a licensing ordinance. In fact, the closest city with a complete moratorium is Savage — nearly 10 miles away."

- Richfield City Council Member Sean Hayford Oleary via Twitter


He goes on to further explain that the worries around safety relate solely to consumption and not purchasing the products.


He continues, "People interested in THC products can easily buy them online or in any neighboring community. To the extent (of) safety risks, Richfielders are not safer because a Minneapolis business got their dollars instead."


"People interested in THC products can easily buy them online or in any neighboring community. To the extent (of) safety risks, Richfielders are not safer because a Minneapolis business got their dollars instead."

- Council Member Sean Hayford Oleary


The potential revenue loss among business owners in Richfield due to this one-year ban could be significant and still provide no more safety assurances for the public than before its passage.


Wes Burdine, the owner of the St. Paul bar, The Black Hart, also shares via Twitter, "Black Hart sold more THC Seltzer than Bud Light, Mich Golden Light in the last two weeks. It's literally our fourth highest-selling drink right now."


"Black Hart sold more THC Seltzer than Bud Light, Mich Golden Light in the last two weeks. It's literally our fourth highest-selling drink right now."

- Wes Burdine, St. Paul Business Owner via Twitter


The concern for public safety is and should be a primary focus of all governmental bodies. Furthermore, the Minnesota state legislature is beginning to lay the groundwork for better regulations and licensing concerning the sale of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC edible products.


However, with a majority of Minnesotans in favor of an outright approval of adult-use recreational cannabis in the state, individual cities taking it upon themselves to score marginal (at best) political points with a constituency that is more and more ok with the idea of legalized marijuana, only serves to hurt the bottom line for many local businesses still struggling from the economic challenges brought about by COVID and the recent uptick in inflation.


Election Day is 12 days away. If there is one thing all politicians respond to with the utmost fervor and laser-like attention, it is a dissatisfied and motivated electorate. Therefore, voters should make their voices heard and tell local officials exactly how they feel about this issue and all issues related to the sale and consumption of this much-maligned yet still magnificent plant.



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