MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Today at Indeed Brewing Company in Minneapolis, lawmakers, hemp-product entrepreneurs, and advocates held a press conference to discuss the new law clarifying the sale of food and beverage products containing limited amounts of hemp-derived THC. They also discussed the path forward for the full legalization of adult-use cannabis in Minnesota.
“The new law is a positive step forward for business owners and consumers who buy hemp-derived products, but Minnesotans deserve a comprehensive legalization framework for cannabis,” said Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley), chief author in the Minnesota House of legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis. “Much work remains undone. We must address the harms caused by the war on drugs, including on expunging cannabis criminal records, creating a new marketplace based on equity, and dedicating new revenues to the communities most harmed by cannabis prohibition.”
Friday, a new law took effect clarifying Minnesota law regarding the sale of food and beverage products containing hemp-derived THC. The legislation – authored by Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL – Edina) – offers additional clarity following passage of the 2018 federal Farm Bill which changed the definition of industrial hemp, and the 2019 Minnesota law conforming to those federal changes.
“While much work is to be done, I am proud of this important legislation. Minnesotans aged 21 and older will now be able to obtain the products they want in a safe and regulated manner,” Rep. Edelson said. “It was clear from our work on this legislation that adult Minnesotans were already purchasing and consuming these products; our goal was to add more consumer protections. In this regard, this legislation is a resounding success.”
Angela Dawson, co-founder of the Forty Acre Cooperative hemp farm in Sandstone and president of The Great Rise, an equity-based cannabis legalization coalition, and Michael Ford, cannabis activist and coalition partner for MN is Ready, were also on hand to share their perspectives.
In 2021, the DFL-led House approved a robust regulatory and licensing framework for adult-use cannabis. The legislation addressed numerous shortcomings with Minnesota’s current illicit marketplace including health, safety, and criminal justice, with a lack of equitable community and economic development opportunities. Despite broad public support, and a pledge from Governor Walz to sign the legislation into law, Senate Republicans have thus far blocked the legislation.
Video of the press conference is available courtesy of Senate Media Services.