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Next Steps for Hemp in Minnesota?

You Betcha Cannabis Co. is part of a coalition of Minnesota hemp farmers, small businesses and community members passionate about our businesses, our customers and the equitable community the hemp industry has cultivated over the last five years. We believe that maintaining our hemp economy and creating an adult-use cannabis environment for small businesses to thrive align with Minnesota’s values. We want our concerns for Minnesota small businesses and true equity to be heard, considered and reflected in the laws and rules of hemp/adult-use cannabis regulation.

To quote a cannabis business owner in Michigan, “Legalization is one thing. Regulation is something else entirely.” While legalizing adult-use cannabis (Bill HF-100) and expungement of criminal records is good policy and will be great for Minnesota, the regulation outlined in this bill caters to out-of-state Big Medical and Big Canna. It is not a good policy. It isn’t good for Minnesota.

Now, HF-100 is Minnesota law, but we’re continuing the fight for positive change to the regulatory issues in this bill. Here is a summary of our issues with the new legislation and how it will impact you:

  • Small businesses. Minnesota values small companies, and we shouldn’t be wiped out to the benefit of out-of-state Big Medical and Big Canna. The two large medical marijuana businesses in the state will not be taxed, will not have to pay licensing fees, will not be limited to the cannabinoids they can use, and will receive a 10-year head start on growing and selling adult-use cannabis. We believe CBD should be given back to the hemp businesses, and hemp farmers should be able to grow adult-use cannabis at higher canopy levels. Out-of-state companies should not have the same advantages as Minnesota businesses.
  • You may have heard that adult-use cannabis will be taxed at 10%, but you may not know that the tax will be applied to your gross receipt, which means you’ll be taxed on EVERYTHING you buy with your adult-use cannabis product. Gross-receipt tax will also apply to THC edibles and beverages as well as hemp-derived consumer products.
    • Example: If you’re out for a family dinner and order one THC-infused beverage, your entire bill will be taxed at 10%: your kids’ meals, ice cream, your spouse’s beer and everybody’s meals, everything.
    • CBD products will also receive a gross-receipts tax. Minnesota is the only state to consider and treat CBD as a controlled substance. CBD has been legal for years, why would we start taxing it at a higher rate than alcohol?
  • Increased gross-receipt taxes, CBD’s medicalization and limitations on the distribution of hemp products and adult-use canopy sizes all come down to access. The illegal market will be emboldened instead of diminished by making access to all products more complicated — and who is impacted most when access is reduced… marginalized communities. Access is meant to be increased, not limited.
  • Social equity. Qualifications for social equity licenses and grants are so broad that they miss the mark in helping those most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana — Black and brown people. At a minimum, Black and brown businesses should receive a two- to four-week head start on receiving social equity grants and licenses and be prioritized in all outreach efforts.
  • Hemp is now regulated under HF-100 and by the new Cannabis Advisory Board. We believe small businesses and hemp farmers should be represented on this board. This legislation is about us but hasn’t included us, which needs to end.

We’ll update you about the new regulations, how they may impact you, and our continued fight to address the issues we’ve outlined above. If you have a question or want to show your support, comment below.

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