Minnesota Board of Pharmacy announced Monday that it filed a civil lawsuit against three companies, alleging they violated Minnesota’s edible cannabinoid laws.
According to state law, an edible cannabinoid product is any product intended to be eaten or consumed as a beverage by humans, it contains a cannabinoid in combination with food ingredients and is "not a drug.”
Under the law, "an edible cannabinoid product sold in Minnesota must not contain more than five milligrams of any hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a single serving or more than a total of 50 milligrams per package," according to a press release.
During an investigation, the board found that the defendant companies, Northland Vapor Company Moorhead LLC, Northland Vapor Company Bemidji LLC, and Wonky Confections LLC, (collectively “Northland Vapor” and operated by Brad Erpelding), were selling a product, "Death by Gummy Bears," which contained 100 milligrams per serving and more than 50 times the legal limit in a single package, reported CBS MN News.
"To our fellow Minnesotans, we encourage you to be cautious when purchasing and consuming edible cannabinoid products," said Jill Phillips, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, noting the dosage caps.
What Does The Lawsuit Say?
The lawsuit alleges that “Northland Vapor” also violated state law because its cannabis edibles are similar to products marketed to children, which is totally prohibited. "THC products exceeding the limits may be extremely potent, making unintentional consumption and consumption by children especially dangerous,” Phillips said, who added that the board is seeking a court order to destroy an estimated $7 million worth of retail products that violate state laws.
Nevertheless, "there is no evidence of any harm arising from the proper use of Northland products. The state's effort to suggest otherwise is shameful," said Tyler Leverington, the defendant’s attorney, who characterized the lawsuit an "aggressive tactic" and an effort to smear the company's reputation.
"Northland is a small business committed to making a quality product and now must fight for its life against over-zealous regulators in St. Paul looking to make a splash with their newly adopted law,” Leverington added.
Comprehensive Legislation Is Needed
"We need licensing, we need taxation, better regulation, and enforcement," Phillips said. "The board went on record last March in supporting the establishment of a cannabis management office or some sort of cannabis board that would oversee all aspects of this industry because right now it's very much lacking."
Meanwhile, in Washington state, a leaked draft scientific report shows that high-potency cannabis products are also creating new regulatory risks. The report recommends policies such as preventing new users from starting to consume these products and calls on companies to provide more information to consumers.
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