DETROIT LAKES – When THC-infused edibles became somewhat surprisingly legal in Minnesota on July 1, local businesses, law enforcement and residents are beginning to adapt to the new regulations in real time.
An employee at Mellow Moods, a Detroit Lakes pipe and tobacco shop, said they only heard rumors about the new law last week and admitted they were a bit caught off guard. Andrew Tinjim, a store employee, said they will be able to add new products once some of the logistics through their supply chain are worked out, and they’re looking forward to the unexpected new wave of customers they believe they will the tide could turn towards a recreational cannabis Minnesota.
“What we’re seeing here is a nice first step toward recreational cannabis versus these hemp-derived THCs,” Tinjim said. “As an employee, I know a lot of us here who are prepared for that, but it’s just whether order management is ready and its (logistics) are in place.”
The law restricts edible products to a total of 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including chemically derived THC products such as Delta-8 and Delta-9.
These Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC products, including 10-packs of 60mg THC gummies, have been available in Detroit Lakes for months at stores like DL Tobacco and Masterpiece Alternatives, as well as Mellow Moods. They will now be regulated under Minnesota’s new law and will likely be required to drastically reduce their THC levels.
edible food and beverage products containing up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving may be sold to persons over the age of 21. Each pack may only contain up to 50 milligrams of THC edibles.
Tinjim said the owner of Mellow Moods is from Oregon, a state that legalized recreational cannabis in 2015, and they had a very different selection of items than the Detroit Lakes location.
“One of the perks of our owner being from Oregon is that he’s already had exposure to things like this,” he said.
Tinjim also stressed the importance of local supply chains, as transporting THC products across state lines can become costly with current gas prices and other various fees.
Also included is the bill that the packaging of these THC edibles must not be aimed at children.
For example, an edible cannabinoid product must not:
- Likeness of a real or fictional person, animal, or fruit that is appealing to children, or has cartoon-like features.
- Be modeled after a brand of product primarily consumed by or marketed to children.
- Manufactured by applying an extracted or concentrated hemp-derived cannabinoid to a commercially available candy or snack item.
- Be packaged in a manner resembling the trademarked, distinctive, or product-specific packaging of a commercial food product.
- Packaged in a container that contains a statement, image, or design that could reasonably lead any person to believe that the package contains anything other than an edible cannabinoid product.
Minnesota’s new THC Edibles Act passed after three readings of the bill in both houses of the Minnesota Legislature.
Curiously, the final bill passed the DFL-controlled House by a vote of 68-65, but passed unanimously 66-0 in the Republican-controlled Senate — though state Republicans have long opposed legalizing recreational marijuana.
The law was passed on May 22, Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law on June 2, and the law went into effect on July 1.
Tinjim said he sees a dynamic behind recreational cannabis and believes it’s only a matter of time before a full recreational measure goes through the legislature.
“Cannabis was almost a crime status 10 years ago and became a hobby, like a home-brewed beer,” he said.
Some law enforcement agencies were also caught off guard. Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander said he had discussions with Detroit Lakes City Attorney Friday as they both attempted to understand what the changes to the THC food regulations were.
“I haven’t had a chance to really dive into it and see what it entails,” Glander said. “Our job is to enforce the laws and of course we’re allowed to use our discretion, so I don’t see that any differently than anything else.”
Glander added his office will continue to work with the city and county attorney’s office to create new THC edible guidelines for all law enforcement officials in the area in the coming days.
“I can’t say I didn’t think that would ever happen,” he said. “Of course I don’t make the laws, I’m on the enforcement side.”