MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 75

While many states ban intoxicating
hemp-derived cannabinoids such
as delta-8 THC, Minnesota not only
allows the sale of hemp-derived
products, but the items may also be
sold at grocery stores, restaurants
and other retail outlets. Cannabis
executives looking to cash in on the
trend should know that:
* Beverages are among the most
common hemp-derived THCinfused
products in Minnesota,
with revenue likely passing
$1 million per month.
Bent Paddle Brewing Co. uses hemp from Finnegan's Farm to create CBD- and THCinfused
beverages. Photo courtesy of Finnegan's Farm
derived THC products, kicked the door
wide open.
The widespread availability of
low-dose THC offerings has helped
bring new customers into the fold as
well, particularly nonsmokers and
baby boomers, industry insiders tell
MJBizMagazine.
" It has exposed an entire state of
consumers to the fact that they can
purchase these products the same way
they can purchase alcohol, " said Leili
Fatehi, partner and principal of Blunt
Strategies, a government relations and
communications firm in Minneapolis
that helped craft the state's cannabis
legalization policies.
" And the sky hasn't fallen. If
anything, we're seeing that consumers
are much more prepared and
comfortable engaging in conversations,
learning about the products and
approaching them safely. "
The beverage boom also has been a
boon for local manufacturers-including
one of the state's larger independent
craft brewers, Minneapolis-based Surly
Brewing Co.-as well as national cannabis
brands such as California-based infused
beverage maker Cann, one of several
companies shipping hemp-derived
THC beverage products from Minnesota
to consumers across the country.
A PARADIGM SHIFT
The groundwork for Minnesota's
current boom in hemp-derived THC
beverages was laid a little more than a
year ago, in May 2022.
That's when state lawmakers
passed a groundbreaking law that
allowed the sale of hemp-derived THC
edibles in mainstream retail outlets
such as grocery and convenience
stores-distribution channels largely
prohibited in recreational and medical
cannabis markets.
" We saw an absolute explosion of
our THC beverage market here in
Minnesota almost overnight, " said
Jason Tarasek, a Minneapolis-based
cannabis attorney at Vicente.
" I won't say it's entirely incorporated
into our culture and society, but it's
well along the way. "
Under the 2022 law, which took effect
July 1 of that year:
* Edibles must contain 5 milligrams
or less of hemp-derived THC
per serving, or 50 milligrams
maximum per package.
* Beverages must contain 5 milligrams
or less of hemp-derived THC
per serving, or 10 milligrams
maximum per package.
The prolonged hot streak, insiders
say, could serve as a harbinger for
* The THC cap for products made
with hemp-derived cannabinoids
is 5 milligrams per serving.
* Product manufacturers such
as breweries have benefited
financially from the infusedbeverage
trend, which also has
drawn the attention of out-ofstate
cannabis brands including
Cann and Cheech & Chong's
Cannabis Co., which partnered with
Minnesota businesses to bring
hemp-derived products to market.
* State-regulated adult-use
marijuana sales are expected to
launch in 2025, and intoxicating
hemp-derived THC products will
be licensed and regulated like
marijuana.
* Some experts say running a hempderived
infused products company
" is one of the best on-ramps "
for gaining entry to the stateregulated
marijuana market.
a strong adult-use market, which
will likely carry far more restrictions
similar to those in other recreational
marijuana states.
Minnesota became the 23rd state in
the U.S. to legalize adult-use marijuana
after Gov. Tim Walz signed a unique
legalization bill into law last May that
also permits the sale of hemp-derived
cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC.
The adult-use legalization law
will likely usher in changes for
Minnesota's hemp-derived THC
marketplace-changes that could
affect sales.
mjbizdaily.com | November-December 2023 75
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MJBiz - November/December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - November/December 2023

MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT1
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT2
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover1
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover2
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 3
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 4
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