Edible cannabis products have finally arrived in Minnesota. As of next month, medical marijuana patients in Minnesota will officially be able to access cannabis edibles as part of the state’s official medical program. In addition, adults over the age of 21 are now able to purchase hemp-derived edibles from non-medical dispensaries in Minnesota. Although the state did legalize medical marijuana back in 2014, the medical cannabis program has remained fairly limited until earlier this year, with only concentrated oils, vapes, tablets, and creams available for registered patients to buy. In March, medical dispensaries transitioned to selling smokeable flower as well, and beginning in August, marijuana edibles will finally be available for purchase.
How This Change Happened
Up until now, Minnesota regulations have strictly prohibited the sale of edible THC-containing cannabis products. In June, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed HF3595, an amendment to an existing omnibus health bill. The amendment contained legislation that officially legalized the sale of edible cannabis products to adults ages 21+, with strict regulations limiting the edibles from containing more than 5 milligrams of THC per serving. It’s important to note the major difference between the cannabis-derived products being released for sale into the medical marijuana program and the hemp-derived products which will be available to all adult Minnesotans – namely, the limit on THC content.
Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
Edible gummies will be an exciting and welcome addition to the existing medical cannabis program. Medical patients will have stronger marijuana products available to them than the general public, with each medical edible package containing between 10 and 100 mg of THC. Having the option to choose edible cannabis will provide increased access for patients that are unable to ingest THC in other ways, like smoking or taking a pill.
According to Director of the Minnesota Health Department’s Office of Medical Cannabis, Chris Tholkes, “[It’s] significant for many patients from the perspective that each patient has a unique situation, has a unique condition. Having multiple delivery methods for medication is really desirable for patients who have trouble swallowing a pill, for example; a gummy might be a great option for them.”
An email from American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp President Michael Bronstein provides additional context for the new law. Said Bronstein, “The Minnesota law completely inverts the concept of licensing, taxing and regulating marijuana by legalizing all types of intoxicating hemp-derived THC products, which are in some cases exactly the same as marijuana products, rivaling and perhaps surpassing the availability of these products in any adult use state.” The sudden change in the state’s legislature has evidently caught Republican lawmakers in Minnesota by surprise. Already, multiple cities have enacted bans specifically preventing the sale of cannabis edibles, including Marshall, Robbinsdale, and St. Joseph. Minnesotans with a limited list of qualifying health conditions may be eligible to be part of the medical cannabis program. For more information on applying for a medical cannabis card in Minnesota, you can visit the Minnesota Department of Health website here.