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Local Businesses Prep for Legal Cannabis Plants, Possession Come August
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/31/2023

Ian Deshon has been waiting nearly a decade for cannabis legalization in Minnesota.

“We opened the store over nine years ago thinking this law was going to change you know, right around the corner and now we're here nine years later and it really has. So we're super excited to see where it goes,” he said.

Deshon owns Greener Gardens in Richfield, Minn. He sells all of the gear to grow cannabis and has been seeing a bump in business.

“The new faces that come into the store these days are brand new growers that are coming out because this bill is passed,” said Deshon

On Aug. 1, Minnesotans will be allowed to grow up to eight cannabis plants at home.

Deshon estimates that lights, ventilation and other equipment for that size of grow operation will cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

But there is one thing he can’t sell — cannabis seed.

“We have been selling seed on and off for the past couple of years,” he said. “And maybe a month ago, the department of ag paid us a visit essentially saying that it wasn't OK.”

Hazy regulation

The federal law that allows hemp production permits the sale of cannabis material that doesn't exceed 0.3 percent THC.

THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis. And hemp crops that exceed that level are destroyed. Since seeds contain only trace amounts of THC, Deshon rationalized it was legal to sell them. That wasn’t the case.

There are a lot of cannabis seed vendors selling online and Minnesotans have been buying those seeds for years, said Tanner Berris. Technically it's illegal under federal law, but the federal Drug Enforcement Agency has issued guidance indicating it will not take enforcement action on seed sales.

“It appears as though no one will be able to legally acquire these genetics, but also everyone's going to,” said Berris who runs the two-year-old Minnesota Cannabis College. The organization is gearing up to train cannabis industry workers and home growers.

“I think we're going to see that all sort of figured out live, if businesses are gonna be stopped through cease and desist letters or if they'll be allowed to continue operating,” he said.

Bob and Erin Walloch are starting a new business called CannajoyMN.

“Is there any legal pathway today that someone could sell a seed? It seems to us that there's not,” said Bob Walloch. “It’s a gray area and we’re working with our own legal counsel and have reached out to the department of ag for guidance.”

Source: mprnews.org

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