Otter Tail County asks for pause on THC sales to fill gaps in new state law
Area News | Published on November 16, 2022 at 3:24pm CST | Author: Pelican Rapids Press0
From Otter Tail County
In 2022, the Minnesota State legislature enacted a new law that allows for certain edible and beverage products infused with “THC” (tetrahydrocannabinol) to be sold in the state. THC is a chemical substance that is found in both hemp and marijuana plants. It is the substance that is responsible for the effects on a person’s mental state.
While the legislature set some regulations around the sale of these products, gaps remain. The new law is silent on requirements for licensing, monitoring and enforcement, training of the individuals dispensing these products, sales locations, prevention education, and several other topics which deserve further study and public input. These gaps in the law and the concern for public health and safety, particularly for youth, led Otter Tail County to become involved.
The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners has proposed an interim ordinance that would place a moratorium on the sales of THC edibles and beverages in Otter Tail County. If passed, the ordinance would place a time-limited pause on these sales until ways to protect those who call Otter Tail County home from the negative impacts of these products can be developed.
Research has shown there are potential health and safety concerns that come from the use of products containing THC. “Just because it is legal does not mean it’s safe,” Jody Lien, Otter Tail County Public Health Director, shared. “The Public Health department works to promote and protect the health of the public,” Lien said. “There are years of effective strategies and work that have been done around alcohol and tobacco that can be used to help inform THC and cannabis policies.”
The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners has set a public hearing to review the moratorium, and the public is invited to respond. Input can be provided at the public hearing Monday, November 21, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at the Otter Tail County Government Services Center located at 515 West Fir Avenue in Fergus Falls. The meeting will also be available for viewing via Livestream. Those wishing to participate remotely may do so by contacting the County Board Secretary at (218) 998-8051 or email@example.com.
The public may also provide written correspondence. Written correspondence can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: County Administrator 520 West Fir Ave Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Written correspondence must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022. The proposed ordinance and public hearing notice can be found at ottertailcountymn.us/proposed-ordinances/.