To Sell or Not to Sell? 1.5 Billion Dollar Question Facing Minnesota’s THC Beverage Industry

The legalization of hemp-based THC beverages in Minnesota last year opened the floodgates for a surge in THC-infused drinks. Breweries and other businesses tapped into this trend by offering beverages that give you a high beyond your average glass of wine or beer.

There’s a lack of licensing requirements and regulations specifically targeting THC-infused beverages. Yet, these products reached restaurants, bars, and even some stores. The demand for these edibles and beverages was just too high to resist.

Minnesota's unregulated THC industry allows businesses to explore various avenues for selling these products. Authorities are cracking down with stricter regulations to make sure it’s not easily accessible to people under the age of 21.

While Minnesota's THC beverage laws are specific about what liquor stores can sell, THC-infused beverages didn't make the cut. Despite this setback, some stores have decided to test the boundaries and offer these unique products to their customers, adding a little extra green to their shelves.

Legal Limits on THC-Based Beverages

Each THC-containing beverage can have no more than 10mg of THC, allowing for two servings of 5mg each. It’s there to ensure a measured and controlled dose to prevent any harmful effects of overconsumption.

The current regulation limits THC concentration, even though it's only a matter of time before recreational cannabis becomes more common. From June 1st, the stores that previously sold beverages with 50 mg THC will no longer be allowed to sell them. The regulations may change to allow a dose of 10mg per serving in a 20mg container.

Note: Always read the labels and ingredients of any cannabis beverages before indulging. Remember to check that they are compliant with the regulatory requirements. Stay in control and sip responsibly.

Cracking Down with More Testing Requirements and Higher Taxes

Both hemp-infused edibles and beverages will charge a 10% tax and any sales tax when selling. The new regulations also demand third-party testing to ensure their potency and the absence of unwanted substances.

The hemp product tax and the 8.03% Minneapolis state and local sales tax add up to an eye-watering 18% tax on hemp-derived products.

While stakeholders initially worried that taxes could harm the budding hemp industry in Minnesota, the law's final version only imposes a 10% tax. While some find it exuberant, it’s among the country's lowest tax rates in this category.

Let's put things into perspective. A typical $20 bag of gummies will only rack up around $3.60 in taxes in Minneapolis from July 1st. To put it bluntly, you won't even notice it.

Despite the taxes, consumers are fortunate that hemp-derived edibles and beverages remain legal under Minnesota marijuana law. So, you can continue enjoying and exploring this exciting world of hemp-infused delights without fear. Also, with these new taxes, local governments will have additional funds to regulate and enforce hemp-related activities, ensuring a safer and better-regulated industry for everyone.

Rocky Road Ahead for Retailers

The new law appears to ban CBD vapes, prompting retailers to remove them from their websites. The ban aims to close a loophole that allowed synthetic cannabinoids in vape products as their health impacts were not known. This decision follows other recreational cannabis states that have already banned these products.

The president of Crested River Cannabis Co., Shawn Weber, believes in the potential of regulated hemp-driven edibles. In a glimmer of hope, vapes may still be permitted in the recreational cannabis market in the future. However, obtaining the green light for CBD vapes will depend on officials from the Office of Medical Cannabis deeming them safe.

Anthony Newby, the founder of Cultivated CBD, worries that federally compliant products like full-spectrum CBD, which contain a broad range of cannabinoids, could also face a ban under the new regulations. The future of these products remains uncertain. These products contain several cannabinoids that are considered federally compliant. Newby warns that these special cannabinoid concoctions could join the ranks of banned items.

The new regulations raise concerns about the safety of CBD vapes and full-spectrum CBD products. As officials navigate these conditions, retailers face an uncertain future, unsure whether their products will pass the safety test. Many companies fear bankruptcy amid the volatile rulemaking landscape.


Retailers must know that certain ‘artificially derived cannabinoid’ products are not to be sold under temporary regulations. Reputable brands are committed to complying with the new laws and providing safe options.

Authorities may watch for staffed counters or locked cabinets, making access to these products exclusive to legal adults.

Consumers must stick with trusted vendors who prioritize consumer safety and transparency. Measures are in place to ensure that these hemp edibles and beverages remain out of the hands of underage individuals.

Minnesota aims to balance regulation, enjoyment, and responsible consumption by prioritizing safety.

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