Minnesota Regulators Destroy $278,000 Worth of Cannabis Flower

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Cannabis regulators in Minnesota have destroyed cannabis products with a value of nearly $300,000, according to a report in local media. The cannabis products, which were seized from 58 businesses that had been selling them as THCA hemp flower, were destroyed after an agreement between state agencies allowed medical marijuana regulators to enforce a ban on the popular products.

Minnesota legalized adult-use cannabis last year, although regulated sales of recreational weed are not expected to begin until early next year. Many retailers, however, have been selling cannabis marketed as hemp flower under a supposed loophole in the law that some say made sales of hemp rich in THC legal under federal law. 

The Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis was given temporary jurisdiction over hemp-derived products but not raw hemp flower under legislation passed in 2022. The law covered low-THC products including gummies and beverages, but not raw hemp flower. The new Office of Cannabis Management will regulate raw cannabis flower once businesses are licensed under last year’s recreational marijuana legalization law. Until then, however, hemp flower was left in a legal gray area.

This regulatory gap led many retailers to offer hemp flower products with THCA levels above 0.3% by weight, the level of delta-9 THC allowed in a crop for it to be considered legal hemp under federal law. Other businesses that refused to take advantage of the loophole and did not sell high-THC hemp flower were left at a competitive disadvantage.

Under an agreement by state agencies, medical cannabis inspectors were deputized by the Office of Cannabis Management to enforce the ban on cannabis flower sales. With the agreement in place, inspectors have been able to seize raw cannabis flower products that exceed 0.3% in total THC, which includes Delta-9 THCA and THCA, a cannabinoid that is converted to delta-9 THC when …

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Author: A.J. Herrington / High Times

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