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Retailers in Detroit Lakes preparing for customer wave with new THC-infused edible cannabis law

Like most people, staff members at Mellow Moods in Detroit Lakes were caught a little off-guard by the new THC-infused edibles law that took effect in Minnesota on July 1, but see it as an important step toward recreational cannabis in Minnesota, one staff member said.

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Andrew Tinjim, staff member at Mellow Moods, smiles while standing next to their selection of edible products at Mellow Moods in Detroit Lakes on July 1, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — As THC-infused edibles became, somewhat surprisingly, legal in Minnesota on July 1, local businesses, law enforcement and area residents are beginning to adjust to the new regulations in real-time.

One staff member at Mellow Moods, a pipe and tobacco shop in Detroit Lakes, said they only started hearing rumors about the new law last week and were admittedly a little unprepared. Andrew Tinjim, an employee at the store, said they will be able to add new products as soon as some of the logistics are worked out through their supply chain and they are excited for the unexpected new customer wave, which they believe might shift the tide toward a recreational-cannabis Minnesota.

"What we're seeing here is a nice first step toward recreational cannabis versus these hemp-derived THCs," said Tinjim. "As staff, I know a lot of us here, are prepared for it, but it's just whether or not the ordering management is ready and have their (logistics) in place."

The law limits edible products to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in total, including chemically-derived THC products, like Delta-8 and Delta-9.

Those Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC products, including 10-piece packs of 60 mg THC gummies, have been available in Detroit Lakes for months now, at shops such as DL Tobacco and Masterpiece Alternatives, as well as Mellow Moods. They will now be regulated and presumably required to drastically lower their THC content, as part of the new Minnesota law.

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Delta 8 edibles are displayed at Mellow Moods in Detroit Lakes on July 1, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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CDB edibles are displayed at Mellow Moods in Detroit Lakes on July 1, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

According to the new Minnesota law , edible food and beverage products containing up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving may be sold to persons over the age of 21. Each package may only contain up to 50 milligrams of THC-edible products.

Tinjim said the owner of Mellow Moods is from Oregon, a state that legalized recreational cannabis in 2015, and they have had a very different selection of items than the Detroit Lakes location.

"One of the advantages of having our owner be from Oregon, he's already got contacts into that sort of thing," he said.

Tinjim also stressed the importance of local supply chains since moving THC-products across state lines can get costly, with current gas prices and other assorted fees.

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Mellow Moods in Detroit Lakes on July 1, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Also included the bill, the packaging on these THC-edibles must not target children.

For example, an edible cannabinoid product must not:

  • Bear the likeness or contain cartoon-like characteristics of a real or fictional person, animal, or fruit that appeals to children.
  • Be modeled after a brand of products primarily consumed by or marketed to children.
  • Be made by applying an extracted or concentrated hemp-derived cannabinoid to a commercially available candy or snack food item.
  • Be packaged in a way that resembles the trademarked, characteristic, or product-specialized packaging of any commercially available food product.
  • Be packaged in a container that includes a statement, artwork, or design that could reasonably mislead any person to believe that the package contains anything other than an edible cannabinoid product.

The new Minnesota THC-edibles law was approved after three readings of the bill in both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature.
Oddly, the final bill passed on a 68-65 party-line vote in the DFL-controlled House, but was unanimously passed 66-0 in the Republican-controlled Senate — even though state Republicans have long been opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana.

The bill passed May 22, Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law on June 2, and the law went into effect on July 1.

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Tinjim said he's seeing momentum building behind recreational cannabis and believes it's only a matter of time before a full recreational measure passes through the legislature.

"It takes cannabis from being almost a felony status 10 years ago, to a hobby, like a home brew," he said.

Some law enforcement agencies were also caught off-guard. Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander said he has been having conversations with the Detroit Lakes city attorney on Friday, as both tried to understand what the changes were to the THC-edibles regulations.

"I haven't had a chance to really dive into it and see what it all entails," said Glander. "Our job is to enforce the laws and, of course, we are allowed to use discretion, so I don't see this any different than anything else."

Glander added his office will continue to work with the city and county attorney's office to establish new THC-edible guidance for all of the area's law enforcement personnel in coming days.

"I can't say that I didn't think this would ever happen," he said. "I don't make the laws, obviously, I'm on the enforcement side."

Multimedia News Lead Reporter
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