July 1st was a day of celebration for Minnesota-based THC enthusiasts when edibles and beverages containing the active ingredient in marijuana became legalized. By law, products contain up to five milligrams of THC per serving and 50 milligrams in an entire package.
Celebratory would not classify how law enforcement and prosecutors felt. They referred to the passage of the bill as political maneuvers kept under the radar that caught law enforcement off guard.
Democrat legislators in the state went so far as to confess concealment of the bill to ensure passage in a Senate controlled by their opposition.
A legal gray area
To date, no “legal limit” for driving a motor vehicle following consumption of the new product, potentially putting THC-infused products are in a bit of a gray area. However, state law makes it clear that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is subject to arrest.
As with any DUI, law enforcement can request a search for a blood draw from operators of cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and boats following an accident, provided that the officer suspects impairment. Current blood testing is unable to detect THC amounts. Unlike alcohol, the drug can remain in the user’s system for several weeks.
Regardless of the methods and maneuvering, THC edibles are now part of the Minnesota marketplace. While legislators don’t have to worry about continued concealment, fine-tuning laws to reflect the edibles will require their attention. Consumers could find themselves in a legal quagmire without specific rules on the books.