Minnesota Cannabis Allows THC Beverages At Breweries

Cannabis is Now Primed In Minnesota

Ready for Minnesota’s new cannabis program? The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis, after Governor Walz signed HF 100 into law on May 30, 2023. The bill allows Minnesotans to possess, use, and grow cannabis at home beginning August 1, 2023, and establishes the Office of Cannabis Management who will be responsible for regulating the market and issuing cannabis business licenses


Introducing Cannabis Beverages

What is interesting about the bill is the recognition of hemp-derived THC beverages as a separate, legal product. In late spring 2022, industrial hemp was removed from the state’s list of controlled substances, which opened the market for legal sales of hemp-derived THC infused edibles and beverages. Similar to the 2018 Farm Bill, which created legal confusion opening the door to the nationwide sale of delta-8 THC products, this provision makes it possible to sell delta-9 THC-infused products within the state, so long as they are “hemp-derived” and contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. Rather than being sold in dispensaries, which typically serve as the primary marketplace for legal cannabis, these products are available for purchase in conventional age-restricted establishments – like breweries.


Breweries: Take Note to Start Offering THC Products

According to the state’s Craft Brewers Guild 2022 Annual Report, approximately 25% of Minnesota’s 180 craft breweries are currently producing or are interested in producing THC beverages. If you’re a brewer or entrepreneur looking to produce THC beverages, here’s what you should know. 

The 2022 legalization of hemp-derived edible products lacked structure around licensing, regulation, and taxes. The 2023 bill added a 10% state tax to beverages and distinguished hemp-derived products from those made from cannabis and lower-potency products from others. The state defines lower-potency hemp edibles as having no more than 5mg of delta-9 THC, 25mg of CBD, or 25mg of CBG. This is in contrast with edible adult-use cannabis products and hemp-derived consumer products, which may include up to 10 mg of THC per serving when intended to be consumed as beverages.

Registration Deadlines Are Approaching

As for licensing, the new law requires sellers of lower-potency hemp products to register with the State of Minnesota by October 1, 2023. Any retailer, including exclusive liquor stores, and any manufacturer that sells directly to consumers, such as breweries making hemp-derived THC beverages, must register by this date. The Office is developing an online registration to be posted at a future date and there will be no charge to register. A separate licensing process will also be available in the future, where these establishments can apply for a hemp business license, such as lower-potency hemp edible manufacturer or lower-potency hemp edible retailer. Under the bill, license holders of these types are permitted to also hold a license to manufacture or sell alcoholic beverages, as well as sell food and tobacco, which is otherwise unheard of in cannabis markets nationwide. In the meantime, establishments that sell edibles and beverages are encouraged by the state to assess their inventory to ensure it meets all state requirements, as product inventory available for sale on and after July 1, 2023 must be compliant with all regulations.  


Competition Is Fierce – Leverage Our Resources

So, there you have it, breweries and liquor stores alike have an unprecedented opportunity in Minnesota’s new cannabis marketplace. Hemp-derived THC-infused beverages are now legal to sell and manufacture under these establishments, keeping in mind regulatory compliance and mandatory State registration required this fall. For those interested in licensing, planning out your business, or forecasting financials, Canna Advisors is here to help!

Our seasoned Minnesota cannabis consultants are ready to streamline your business model, whether it be centered around retail, cultivation, or other license type. Contact us today and start moving now.

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