A lesson on marijuana and THC legislation shared in Pequot Lakes

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PEQUOT LAKES — Pequot Lakes Police Sgt. Ryan Franz educated the city council on recent legislation that makes it legal in Minnesota to sell certain edibles and beverages infused with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the cannabis ingredient extracted from hemp.

“Every regional group I’m involved in … this has been a topic that has come up,” City Administrator Rich Spiczka told the council at its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 2, adding cities don't quite know what to do with it.

“They passed it without a lot of oversight,” Franz said after giving an overview of the legislation regarding cannabinoids.

“Most municipalities are unsure of how to best proceed and what steps are best so some are in the ‘wait and see’ realm, while others are attempting to pass ordinances banning the sale of these items,” Spiczka wrote in a memo to the council.

Franz said many municipalities are waiting for bigger cities to tackle the topic. He doesn’t feel the need to enact any moratorium now, though the legislation will present challenges.

It won’t change how police do their job, Franz said, adding he’s come across people in the past month who claim marijuana is legal.

“Well, it’s not,” he said.

Smoking marijuana is still illegal. But when a certain amount of THC is put in food, like brownies or gummies, and ingested that way, it’s legal, Franz said.

 
The Nisswa City Council also addressed the topic at its last meeting, specifically the impacts for police/public safety, planning and zoning and municipal liquor operations.

“It’s certainly going to be a learning curve,” Franz said, noting he expects more guidance from the state level in the next year.

In other public safety news, the council approved the police liaison officer agreement with the Pequot Lakes School District for the 2022-2023 school year.

The school district, which has approved the contract, will pay $5,956 per month for nine months (September-May).

The Pequot Lakes Fire District reported five calls in Breezy Point, one call in Jenkins, one call in Jenkins Township and four calls in Pequot Lakes in July. Police had 273 calls for service in June.

Region: Minnesota