EDITORIAL: THC Cannabis genie is out of bottle

Aug. 17—The new THC legalization law has local cities somewhat dazed and confused.

Mankato, North Mankato and St. Peter city governments are in the process of figuring out if, or how, to regulate THC products that are now legal, courtesy of the Minnesota Legislature, which was also a little fuzzy when it passed the law.

THC products take liquid or solid form and can be sold in any retail establishment. THC is the element in cannabis that provides the "high" feeling from marijuana. The products can be sold in pieces limited to 5 milligrams of THC and in packs not exceeding a total of 50 milligrams. There is very little regulation controlling its sale or distribution in state law except that it cannot be sold to people under 21.

The city of Mankato is considering modifying its law to make possession by someone under 18 a petty misdemeanor — not a crime — but otherwise not regulating it. North Mankato is considering licensing sellers with a process similar to licensing liquor sales. St. Peter is considering doing nothing, licensing or possibly imposing a moratorium on sales until it can see what other cities are doing.

We believe the approach by Mankato may be the best course. It's a minimalist approach. City Manager Susan Arntz is right when she notes it would be cumbersome for the city to impose licensing on numerous businesses that could sell the product.

The Legislature passed the law as part of a pharmacy-like technical bill, with Democrats seeing and favoring the unrestricted sale of THC products and Republicans claiming they didn't understand or were confused by passage.

Some Republicans have called for a redo, but Democrats, who actually favor legalization of THC and marijuana, have no interest in going back.

THC is the proverbial genie out of the bottle. It won't be easy to put it back. Nor should we try. The Legislature has decided THC is a legal product, so demand and supply should rule from there.