Hemp-derived THC edibles in Minnesota have been legal for adults 21 and older since July 1, but one manufacturer and two of its retail facilities may be going beyond what the law permits.
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy filed a civil lawsuit Dec. 5 in Clay County District Court alleging that Moorhead-based Northland Vapor Co. and its dispensaries in Moorhead and Bemidji are in violation of potency limits. Under the law, an “edible cannabinoid product” cannot contain more than 5 milligrams of any hemp-derived THC in a single serving and no more than a total of 50 milligrams per package.
The lawsuit claims that officials from the Pharmacy Board and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found edibles from the manufacturer with 100 milligrams of THC per serving (20 times the legal dose) and packages containing 2,500 milligrams of THC (50 times what’s permitted) during a joint investigation Nov. 8.
That investigation came after the FDA received complaints about “adverse events” associated with Northland Vapor’s “Death by Gummy Bears” delta-8 THC products, allegedly including one death, but the FDA has not determined that the products caused the adverse events, according to a news release from the Pharmacy Board.
“We’re working together with our state partners to protect the public from harmful products,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, FDA principal deputy commissioner, said about the joint investigation in the release.
The Pharmacy Board embargoed roughly 144,000 packages of gummies and 2,310 bottles of Delta-9 THC Syrup and is seeking an order from the court to destroy the allegedly noncompliant products investigators found, which have an estimated worth exceeding $7 million.
The products in the embargo include:
approximately 28,896 packages of Death by Gummy Bears, labeled as 25 individual gummy bears at 100 milligrams of THC per serving, totaling 2,500 milligrams per package; approximately 112,710 packages of Death by Gummy Bears, labeled as 10 individual gummy bears at 100 milligrams of THC per serving, totaling 1,000 milligrams per package; approximately 2,400 packages of Wonky Weeds Gummies[AR3] , labeled as 10 individual gummies at 30 milligrams of THC per serving, totaling 300 milligrams per package; and approximately 2,310 bottles of Wonky Weeds THC Syrup, containing 700 milligrams of THC per bottle.
“As consumers navigate the market, they should be aware of the amount of THC in each serving,” Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Jill Phillips said in the release. “Only products containing five milligrams or less per serving and fifty milligrams or less per package are permitted to be sold under state statute. These companies far exceeded those limits and did so in a type of product historically marketed to children.”
In addition to serving size and package limits, the law enacted July 1 states that hemp-derived THC edible products cannot be marketed or shaped in a way that’s appealing to children. Specifically, products cannot resemble or contain cartoon-like characteristics of people, animals or fruit, and cannot be modeled after brands primarily consumed by or marketed to children.
The lawsuit alleges that the aforementioned gummies resemble characteristics of a fictional bear, which are in violation of that law.