Brooklyn Park City Council to vote on THC regulation Monday as state conversations pick up

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Brooklyn Park is joining many Minnesota cities in deciding its stance on THC products after edibles were legalized over the summer.

At a Brooklyn Park City Council meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, council members are expected to vote on requirements for businesses planning to sell THC products.

Under the proposal the council is considering, businesses looking to sell THC would have to purchase an annual $1000 license from the city and get a $500 background check.

The number of licenses would cap at 45, with 15 licenses allocated to each district of the city: East, Central and West.

The plan would also impose regulations on individual THC sales, such as prohibiting sales within 300 feet of a school and requiring products to be kept behind a counter.

At this time, the council appears to hold a range of opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of cannabis legalization, sale, regulation and use. If approved, licensing requirements would go likely go into effect on March 1, 2023.

Regardless of Monday’s decision, Brooklyn Park residents and all Minnesotans won’t stop hearing about Marijuana after Monday.

After a Democratic sweep of the state House, Senate and governor’s office during the November election, Gov. Tim Walz has been involved in conversations about cannabis legislation. In fact, former Gov. Jesse Ventura told people cannabis will likely be one of the first things on the new state legislature’s docket.

Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Health recently announced it will add irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder to the list of conditions covered by the state’s medical cannabis program.

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A recent KSTP/SurveyUSA poll showed a majority of Minnesotans are in favor of recreational cannabis legalization.

However, leaders of some cities have already pressed pause after the 5-milligram edible legislation went into effect.

Some might say for good reason – an article published in 2020 by a doctor for the National Library of Medicine described the pros and cons of recreational and medical cannabis use, and the author said we still don’t know enough to have all the answers.

“Our knowledge of the harm caused by cannabis use is incomplete, and interpretations of the evidence are often contested. So is our understanding of the medical and other benefits of cannabis use. The lack of good epidemiological and clinical data has made it difficult to assess the costs and benefits of cannabis use to users and the whole population,” wrote, Dr. Wayne Hall, Emeritus Professor at the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research at the University of Queensland, Australia.

One topic often discussed in connection to the drug is potential prevalence of impaired driving. Without implying connection to the recent edible ruling, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety warned people about the dangers of driving while high on THC, among other things.

“We’ve seen a spike in DWI arrests this year and a pretty significant increase in recent years with the number of drivers who are being arrested for drug-impaired driving,” DPS Office of Traffic Safety Director Mike Hanson said. “Drivers need to be aware that cold medicine, prescription medication, recently legalized THC edible products or any other drug can contribute to impairment and a DWI. Driving while impaired can lead to an arrest, or even worse, serious injury or death.”

Hanson added, “Don’t take the chance. Always plan for a sober ride.”

Check back for updates as 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS covers local and national conversations surrounding marijuana legalization.

Visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s fact sheet to learn more about Marijuana.