ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy on Monday sued a Moorhead-based manufacturer of THC-infused gummies, saying the company’s candies contain far stronger doses of THC than state law allows.
The lawsuit alleges that Northland Vapor Co. and its stores in Moorhead and Bemidji are violating Minnesota’s new law allowing low-potency edible and drinkable cannabinoids.
Those products must not contain more than 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC in a single serving or more than 50 milligrams per package. But investigators found candies with 20 times the legal dose and packages containing 50 times the limit, it alleges.
That is…a lot of THC
In most legal adult-use states, a single serving of a THC-infused edible is limited to 5 mg or 10 mg of THC. For an adult cannabis consumer who occasionally enjoys an edible, 5 to 10 mg can hit like one or two glasses of wine. Doses above 20 mg to 50 mg are usually enjoyed by consumers with a higher cannabis tolerance, or used to medicate for extreme pain situations, such as that faced by cancer patients.
Legal states typically limit the total allowable THC level to 100 mg per package. That is, 20 gummies containing 5 mg each, or 10 gummies containing 10 mg each.
All of which is to say: A 100 mg single-dose gummy is delivering a powerful THC punch. A 2,500 mg package of gummies is…well, it’s a lot.
And the Northland Vapor Company seemed to show some awareness of what it was offering. The product’s name: Death by Gummy Bears.
No people, no animals, no fruit
In the lawsuit, state officials said the gummies also violate Minnesota’s provision that edibles must not resemble people, animals or fruit. Another product, sold under name “Wonky Weeds,” also exceeded the state’s limits, the lawsuit claims.
The Pharmacy Board, as well as Food and Drug Administration officials, inspected Northland Vapor’s manufacturing facility in Moorhead on Nov. 8, and embargoed the noncompliant products, which the Board estimated have a retail value of over $7 million.
Company says it tried to comply
The lawsuit, filed in Clay County District Court in Moorhead, seeks a court order that those products be destroyed, and for the company to desist from selling edibles that violate the state law, which took effect July 1, 2022.
Northland Vapor attorney Tyler Leverington said in a statement that the company tried to work with the state to comply with the law, “but someone decided Northland should be made an example.”
Recreational marijuana itself remains illegal in Minnesota. But Democrats who took full control of state government in the November elections plan to make a push to broadly legalize it in the upcoming legislative session. Senate Republicans blocked previous attempts but lost their majority.
Edible products that contain hemp-derived delta-9 THC were inadvertently made legal by a state law that passed earlier this year. That law was the result of legislators’ attempts to clamp down on hemp-derived delta-8 THC products, but the language of the law mistakenly created a loophole for hemp-derived delta-9 THC products.