Vireo Health, a Minnesota-based medical cannabis operator, filed a lawsuit last week to challenge Minnesota’s THC regulations, claiming that the state’s laws discriminate against the company.
Vireo, which is one of two medical cannabis operators licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), brought the civil lawsuit against the department, the state and several county attorneys, according to a local KSTP report.
While Vireo is authorized to distribute THC-infused edibles under Minnesota’s medical cannabis program, new laws took effect July 1 that allow adults 21 and older to purchase edibles and beverages that contain up to 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC per serving and 50 milligrams per package.
Since Vireo’s products are derived from cannabis and not hemp, the company is still only authorized to sell its products to patients enrolled in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program, KSTP reported. In its lawsuit, Vireo claims these laws “unconstitutionally discriminate” against the company, according to the news outlet.
Vireo goes on to argue that cannabis- and hemp-derived edibles are “chemically identical,” KSTP reported, and that the additional restrictions on cannabis-derived products are “irrational.”
“The problem is that hemp-derived edibles that have recently been legalized in Minnesota do not have the same regulation, oversight, testing, and customer eligibility limitations as the medical cannabis-derived edibles sold by Vireo,” Vireo claims in its lawsuit, according to KSTP. “There are simply not enough regulatory or law enforcement resources available to ensure that hemp-based edibles being sold in Minnesota are legal and safe.”
Vireo is asking the court to allow the company to sell its cannabis-derived products under the same rules that govern hemp-derived products in the state, the news outlet reported.