Osseo Mulls Cannabis Business Moratorium Through 2025
Osseo residents aren’t likely to find recently-legalized cannabis products at their local corner store in the near future. But THC-based edibles that were legalized last year might be available in a limited number of stores as early as this summer.
The Osseo City Council debated cannabis regulations at a work session this week.
In the next year, employees at the new Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management will work with city governments to develop regulations for cannabis businesses. However, those regulations do not currently exist. The law legalizing adult cannabis use takes effect Aug. 1.
The council spoke in support of enacting a moratorium on newly-legalized cannabis businesses through 2025. The moratorium could be rescinded once state regulations become more clear.
THC-Edible Moratorium Ends in August
Hemp-based THC edibles were legalized last year.
The Office of Cannabis Management will oversee the regulation of those edibles starting in March 2025.
Osseo approved a moratorium on the sale of THC edibles last year. That moratorium ends in August.
Beyond the moratorium, Osseo has no ordinances regulating the sale of edibles. As a result, if the council does not enact new regulations, the edibles could be sold at any business that meets state law requirements in August.
The city cannot legally extend the moratorium.
Licensing or Zoning for THC Edibles?
The city has two options to regulate THC-edible sales: zoning and licensing.
Mary Tietjen, city attorney for Osseo, said that a zoning ordinance would be most likely to survive a legal challenge in the courts.
Through a zoning ordinance, the city could dictate an area of the city where it is legal for a business to sell THC edibles.
Osseo City Council members Alicia Vickerman and Juliana Hultstrom spoke in favor of enacting a licensing ordinance. Through this ordinance, only off-sale liquor stores would be eligible to sell THC edibles.
Vickerman said two of the city’s liquor stores indicated interest to begin selling edibles.
“On that side of it, I don’t really love holding back businesses from selling a legal product,” she said.
Tietjen said she was less certain such a licensing ordinance would hold up if challenged in court. She said she could bring back additional information for the council at a future work session.
Osseo Police Chief Pushes for More Limits on THC, Cannabis Sales
Osseo Police Chief Shane Mikkelson asked the council to limit sales of THC and cannabis products as much as possible.
“I just want you to know what the effects are going to be, and that it’s going to put a lot of pressure on my department,” he said.
According to Mikkelson, the police department has responded to four overdose incidents related to THC-edibles in the past year.
“I don’t think this was a good choice by the state, I still don’t think it’s a good choice for our city, and so limiting as much as possible, in my book, is what we should be doing,” he said.
Work Session Is July 10
The council will readdress the issue of cannabis regulations at a July 10 work session.
“It’s coming, and there’s nothing we’re going to be able to do about it, other than try to do the best to manage it for the benefit of the residents of Osseo,” said Osseo City Council Member Mark Schulz. “It’s difficult because we have to be thoughtful with no information.”