Minnesota Legalizes Hemp-Derived THC Edibles & Beverages

July 1, 2022

In May 2022, the Minnesota legislature legalized the sale of food and beverage products containing up to 5 mg of THC per serving. Following a number of issues that came to light in late 2021, we recognized that the legislature had to take action to protect consumers and the budding hemp-industry. First, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in State v. Loveless that THC extracted from the hemp plant was a Schedule I substance due to a drafting error in the original 2019 law authorizing the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products. Second, members of the Minnesota hemp industry received cease and desist letters, and enforcement actions, from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, regarding the sale of cannabinoid-infused food and beverage products, due to the fact that cannabinoids are not a FDA-approved food additive. Finally, ‘bad actors’ were selling products to consumers that were not tested, properly labeled, deceptive, and targeted to children.

The legislation:

  • Authorizes the sale of hemp cannabinoid-infused food and beverage products with a limit of 0.3% any THC, with a maximum of 5 mg THC per serving and 50 mg THC per package
  • Removes hemp-derived cannabinoids from Schedule I of the Minnesota Controlled Substances Act, decriminalizing (and de-felonizing) hemp-derived THC
  • Provides mandatory testing and labeling requirements
  • Requires packaging is child-resistant and not designed to be attractive to children
  • Sets the age to purchase cannabinoid products to 21+
  • Excludes hemp derived cannabinoid products from the definition of “food” under Minnesota law
  • Moves oversight of hemp-derived cannabinoid products to the jurisdiction of the Board of Pharmacy which may conduct compliance checks

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