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Moorhead Planning Commission to explore ordinance for CBD products

In the wake of a new state law, businesses selling what are known as CBD products have sprouted up across Minnesota, including in Moorhead.

Two small plastic containers are labeled "Minnabis" with different flavors and a 50 mg note on them.
Minnabis Delta-9 THC edibles available at Northland Vapor in Moorhead are seen on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
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MOORHEAD — At a Moorhead Planning Commission public hearing set for Monday, Oct. 3., officials will talk about a possible new city ordinance relating to licensing standards and zoning for businesses connected to the sale and manufacture of cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are a group of substances found in the cannabis plant, with one of the main substances found in the plant being THC.

Currently, city code has no language regulating cannabinoids, but a newly enacted Minnesota state law that took effect in July allows individuals 21 and older to buy edible products, such as gummies, containing up to 5 milligrams of THC.

In the wake of the new state law, businesses selling what are known as CBD products have sprouted up across Minnesota, including in Moorhead .

The Planning Commission meeting, which will start at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Hjemkomst Center auditorium, 201 1st Ave. N., in Moorhead, will explore how the city will regulate such sales, according to Kristie Leshovsky, community development director for the city of Moorhead.

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Leshovsky said Monday's meeting will focus on the zoning aspect of the new ordinance, which would essentially allow the sale of CBD products in areas already zoned for mixed use, commercial and industrial activities.

She said a business that manufactures such products would be more limited in where it could set up.

Leshovsky said the other aspect to regulating CBD sales has to do with licensing. She said Moorhead is looking to set up a licensing structure similar to liquor and tobacco sellers, including background checks for business owners and a prohibition against selling products to anyone under 21.

She said under the licensing plan envisioned, businesses that cell CBD products would be subject to compliance checks and would have to pay a $125 annual fee similar to what tobacco stores pay.

When state lawmakers passed the law allowing CBD sales, the move surprised many community officials across Minnesota, according to Mike Rietz, assistant city manager in Moorhead.

"This did not get a lot of publicity at the Legislature and I think that was sort of by design from the people that were sponsoring it," Rietz said.

"We've taken some time to reflect on what challenges does this present to us and really that's what we're addressing here with this proposed ordinance: coming up with managing where it's sold and where it's manufactured," Rietz added.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

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