Minnesota Struggles To Regulate THC Market
In May, Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed the large-scale legislation that included provisions that provide permanent protections to Minnesota-based hemp businesses for legal sales of CBD-infused foods and drinks. Besides CBD, the measure allows all hemp-derived cannabinoids to be legally sold in food items, beverages, and topicals, to name a few. The products must contain less than the federal limit of 0.3 % THC.
The new bill also allows up to 5 mg of hemp-derived THC to be legally sold in edibles and drinks to those 21 and older.
While the Board of Pharmacy was tasked with regulating cannabis edibles products, its new executive director Jill Phillips expressed concern at the time that the board may not be ready for it.
One of the problems? The new THC law doesn’t demand a license to produce, distribute or sell the THC edibles and drinks, writes the outlet. The Board of Pharmacy employs just 23 people, and they also handle dangerous legal opioids and other substances. And now, they should also handle the potency, packaging, and age requirements of the new THC products that are sold all around.
Furthermore, the Board of Pharmacy does not have a lab to test the potency or safety of the product, nor a contract with a laboratory. Producers must contract with a lab and keep a record by they are not obliged to send the results to the Board of Pharmacy except upon request, Phillips said at the time.
Another important problem: taxes. These products are being sold as food, and therefore are not taxed. This means that no tax money is used for better regulations or education on the safe and responsible consumption of these products.
According to a new report from Star Tribune, things are already a bit chaotic, as some worried, it might be. In addition to legal marijuana edibles, many stores offer highly potent delta-8 vapes, gummies and flower, which are illegal under state law.
"The enforcement is almost non-existent," Jason Tarasek with Minnesota Cannabis Law said at a conference last week. "We need a seed-to-sale tracking system. We need licensing. We need to do this so that consumers are protected."
The Star Tribune highlighted some violations such as delta-8 products, edibles with twice the legal dose of THC, and products without appropriate labels.
"I don't think any of the law enforcement associations were consulted with, or really made aware of, this legislation," said Jeff Potts, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.
Kandiyohi County Sheriff Eric Holien is now urging cities in his county to temporarily regulate who can sell these products until the state provides a broader regulation.
New Mexico Cannabis Rules Restrict Producers To Barely Keep Up With Demand
New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee held a meeting last week and said that they are projection for cannabis sales to return $22 million in tax revenue, reported KOB 4. Back in December, they were predicting a higher figure, or around $27 million.
Adult-use sales in the state started several months ago; in the first month, they took in $40 million in total revenue. Then May and June saw a bit lower numbers, or $39 and $38 million. A comeback came in July, which also saw $40 million.
“Everyone is wondering why can’t we reach $50 or $60 million as previously predicted, it’s because we don’t have enough product for consumers to make that choice,” president and CEO of Ultrahealth Duke Rodriguez said.
He further explained that they can only sell as much as they are enabled to produce, with the Cannabis Control Division limiting the number of plants cultivators can grow to 20,000, which is barely keeping up with the demand.
Columbia Wants To End The War On Drugs
In July, Colombian Senator Gustavo Bolivar filed a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in the South American country. In 2020, Senator Bolivar tried to legalize the consumption of marijuana but his bill did not have the support of the majority in Congress.
Now, with a new Congress and cannabis-friendly President Gustavo Petro, Senator Bolívar assured that the new project will be approved.
"It is time to accept that the war on drugs has been a complete failure,” Petro said during his inauguration festivities.
Bolivar, a close ally of the new president, said the country will never achieve peace “until we regulate drug trafficking.” He recently visited Colorado to examine the economic benefits of legal marijuana.
He told CNN that it is hypocritical of the U.S. to legalize cannabis at home yet back drug wards in other countries, such as Colombia, where Washington sends millions of dollars every year to arm and train Colombian forces to fight against the cartels.
Photo: Benzinga Edit; Sources: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA by Pexels
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