Cities in Minnesota begin talks to regulate THC edibles

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s now legal for those 21 and older to buy and possess THC edibles in Minnesota.

The edibles may contain 5 milligrams of hemp-based THC per serving and a total of 50 milligrams per package. Growers say this dosage may get you high.

However, the new law does not explain much when it comes to regulating when and where people can buy and sell. City leaders and law enforcement tell ABC 6 News that it’s up to them to provide some clarity.

“Just saying, ‘hey this is legal and we haven’t really thought through the ramifications’ is not a masterclass in public policy,” said Austin City Councilmember Jason Baskin about the new law.

Cities like Rochester, Austin and Albert Lea have been in contact with the League of Minnesota Cities to discuss what, if anything, should be done at the city level.

In Rochester, Councilmember Patrick Keane says these talks are still early and he wants to understand all options before having any open council discussion.

The Albert Lea City Council plans to spend the next several weeks looking into it.

The City of Austin is taking stronger stance. Baskin says the council is already actively working with the Austin Police Department and Austin schools to draft an regulations.

“There is an entire chapter of regulations for tobacco, there is an entire chapter of regulations for alcohol, and there’s really not that same framework when it comes to edibles,” Baskin said.

Baskin says the new law is hard to enforce. Sales are limited to people 21 and older and the product cannot be marketed towards children, but there are no clear laws about underage possession.

“On the bottom line of it all is — there’s no consequence. None at all. And that’s the hardest part. It’s the weirdest law I think I’ve ever seen. And you can quote me on that,” said Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson.

Torgerson says the other focus needs to be lisencing.

“If there’s a person who doesn’t have the license to sell these edibles, that there’s consequences for that too,” he said.

Controlling when and where people can buy THC edibles.

Baskin says the Austin City Council is trying to regulate edibles before school starts.

“We can’t afford to wait from a law enforcement standpoint. We can’t afford to wait from a school standpoint,” added Baskin.

Local agencies are expecting the legislature to work on statewide regulation in their next legislative session, but some still feel that it’s not soon enough.