MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 77

Minnesota-based Surly Brewing Co. created a line of hemp-derived THC beverages. Photo by Surly Brewing Co
spokesperson for parent company
United Natural Foods.
Cub, headquartered in Stillwater,
operates about 80 supermarkets and
pharmacies primarily in the Twin
Cities area.
Getting a good economic read on
this emerging product category is a
challenge, with sales data and growth
forecasts scant.
Seattle-headquartered cannabis
analytics provider Headset told
MJBizMagazine that it does not track
hemp-derived THC sales in the
Minnesota market.
The 2023 National Hemp Report,
released in April, valued production of
fl oral hemp grown in Minnesota at
$11 million last year.
But that doesn't account for hempderived
products, which would escalate
that estimate signifi cantly.
THE OPT-OUT DILEMMA
While consumer access for low-dose
THC products is widely available across
the state, dozens of cities and counties
have enacted measures to stymie
business operations.
Municipal opt-outs of commercial
marijuana and hemp programs are
all too common from California to
New York.
The bans undercut a market's true
potential and could provide a chilling
effect.
" Cub will not be selling low-dose
THC products where local municipality
ordinances prohibit it, " Davis told
MJBizMagazine without a prompt.
According to statistics from the Public
Health Law Center at the Mitchell
Hamline School of Law in St. Paul:
* 80 Minnesota cities and
fi ve counties have adopted
moratoriums related to the
sale, testing, manufacturing or
distribution of THC products.
* 42 cities and two counties have
adopted licensing and sales
restrictions.
" These moratoriums are incredibly
problematic because they're not
actually based on any good public
policy considerations, " Fatehi said.
" They seem to be a refl ex against the
concerns of something new. "
THE LONG GAME
Legalizing and regulating CBD and
low-dose THC products is a bit
of a contrarian move in a market
developing a recreational marijuana
program.
Other adult-use states, such as
Nevada, New York and Vermont,
have enacted product bans and other
restrictions related to delta-8 products.
But some Minnesota policymakers
have a longer view in mind.
They want to develop a new crop of
local entrepreneurs who can create their
own unique retail presence, business
plans and supply chains while enjoying
certain federal protections and benefi ts
related to banking, lending and capital,
according to Fatehi.
" Operating in the hemp-derived
space is one of the best on-ramps for
transitioning to operating in the adultuse
space and being set up for success, "
she said.
" And it makes them more
competitive when they're applying for
an application, because now they have
a track record. "
It appears such early entrants also
have room to run.
" There's a ton of pent-up demand
for cannabis products in Minnesota, "
Tarasek said.
" It's the only game in town. "
Chris Casacchia covers
retail for MJBizDaily and
MJBizMagazine. He can be
reached at chris.casacchia@
mjbizdaily.com.
mjbizdaily.com | November-December 2023 77
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MJBiz - November/December 2023

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MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT1
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