The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found that 39% of inspected hemp-derived cannabinoid retailers are selling products with illegally high doses of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Currently, Minnesota law establishes the legal limit of THC at 5 milligrams per serving or 50 milligrams per package of edibles. However, MDH has issued an alert warning Minnesotans across the state about illegal “high-risk” cannabinoid products that are being sold.
According to MDH, “high-dose hemp-derived products may contain hundreds of milligrams of THC per serving, and with multiple servings in a package, this can add up to thousands of milligrams of THC.”
In their advisory, MDH warned consumers about these products and cautioned against consumption. The side effects listed by MDH included:
- Extreme anxiety or panic attacks
- Psychotic episodes (hallucinations, delusions or a loss of personal identity)
- An increase in heart rate, chest pain or heart attack
- Sudden high blood pressure with headache
- Uncontrollable shaking or seizures
- Decreased judgment, perception and coordination that can lead to injuries
In March, Alpha News reported on a family who lost their 21-year-old son to psychosis-induced suicide after years of marijuana use. When the Minnesota Legislature was debating recreational marijuana use earlier this year, medical experts and family members who had lost loved ones to drug overdoses testified to the harmful effects of marijuana use.
A Minnesota Department of Health report from February 2023 showed instances of “hospital-treated cannabis poisonings” have increased since 2016.
Low-dose THC products have been legal in Minnesota since 2022. However, no regulations were established at that time to govern the THC market. As a result, THC retailers operated with no accountability. When recreational marijuana was legalized in Minnesota earlier this year, that legislation set up regulations which are supposed to “address the public health and safety protections for hemp-derived cannabinoid products.”
Among those rules, the Office of Medical Cannabis at the Minnesota Department of Health now oversees regulation of the hemp-derived cannabinoid market. Additionally, businesses that sell THC products were required to register with the State of Minnesota by Oct. 2, 2023
According to MDH, “retailers who are not registered with the State of Minnesota are not in compliance with state law.”