Minnesota Gets a Taste of THC

Gummies, chocolate, seltzers, and other edible goodies fly off the shelves this summer

Fukume/Adobe

Thanks to the recent passage of a Minnesota law, people ages 21 and over can now taste and sip their way through the world of THC—hemp-derived THC, that is.

The law permits the sale and consumption of food and beverages with no more than 5 milligrams of THC per serving, and no more than 50 milligrams per package. Hemp is slightly different from marijuana, which is still illegal in Minnesota. Although both are part of the cannabis species, hemp contains very low amounts of THC compared with its highly psychoactive relative.

However, some proponents of the new law see it as a first step toward the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state. At a press conference, Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, who helped pass the bill, said the decision to do so was intentional. “We have a lot of work to do in Minnesota on cannabis legalization, but this is an important step forward,” he said.

Marijuana sales in states like Illinois and Colorado generate millions of dollars in tax revenue each year. But the Minnesota bill outlined no such tax provisions on THC edibles, so it’s unlikely that the state will reap financial benefits of that scale. The law does not require retailers to have a license to sell edibles, however, so it could provide a new source of income for a handful of Minnesota businesses.

Whether you’re looking for a sweet treat or a refreshing drink, some local retailers are already offering a wide variety of edible products to try this summer.

Nothing But Hemp, a CBD and THC supplier, has seen high demand since the law passed. Lines formed out the door of their Grand Avenue location in St. Paul, where folks waited to browse the assortment of THC-infused goodies.

Gummies are a popular choice when it comes to edibles, and Nothing But Hemp has plenty of options to pick from. Flavors like “Blue Dream,” “Zkittles,” and “Agent Orange” are made with different strains of Delta-9 THC, catering to those looking to be energized, relaxed, or a little bit of both. These gummies are sold in packs of 10 for $34.99. Hard candies infused with a microdose of THC are also available for the same price, with 25 pieces per bag.

If gummies can’t quite satisfy your sweet tooth, Retro Bakery has you covered with Minnesota’s first legal THC chocolate. Their gourmet edibles include chocolate bars, chocolate-covered cookies, and crunchy wafer bars in a variety of flavors. According to their Instagram page, cereal bars are also in the works.

If you’d rather your “high” come in liquid form, Nothing But Hemp manufactures a line of non-carbonated THC juice drinks called “Vibes.” They come in three different flavors: mango lemonade, black cherry citrus, and passionfruit.

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy specified that the new law does not allow for “food service or further food preparation activities using products which contain substances derived from hemp,” which means that you won’t be able to order THC cocktails from local bars or restaurants anytime soon.

But these businesses can still take part in the sale of manufactured or packaged products containing hemp-derived THC. The Minneapolis-based Indeed Brewing Company plans to launch “Two Good,” their own nonalcoholic THC- and CBD-infused seltzers, on Aug. 1. While they can’t be consumed in Indeed’s taproom, the drinks will be sold in to-go cans and at third-party retailers.

The brewing company tried out something similar in 2019 with “Lull,” a nonalcoholic CBD seltzer, but it was discontinued after the Minnesota Department of Agriculture determined that such beverages were still illegal at the time. Indeed plans to reintroduce these CBD drinks for both on- and off-site consumption around the same time as the launch of “Two Good.”

While THC and CBD both occur naturally in cannabis plants, THC is the chemical compound responsible for making you “high.” So if you’re not interested in the psychoactive effects of THC but still want to feel relaxed, CBD-only products might be a good alternative.

CBD edibles often come in the standard forms of gummies, chocolates, and other candies. But the list of beverages made with CBD is much more extensive than that of newly legal THC beverages. The non-intoxicating chemical has made its way into coffee, tea, sparkling water, post-workout drinks, and even powdered beverages.

We have yet to see the full breadth of THC-infused goods that will be available across the state, but the current options have been flying off shelves, both in person and online. If the long lines and “sold out” labels are any indication, plenty of Minnesotans are jumping at the opportunity to get a legal taste of THC.

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