Minnesota and its cannabis laws have a very strange relationship with cannabis concentrates, also known as dabs, wax, or oil. Currently, it is a major crime to possess any amount of concentrates containing THC while at the same time it is one of the only options for medical cannabis patients in Minnesota. In 2016, the Minnesota legislature changed the state’s law to make possession of less than 0.25 grams a gross misdemeanor (instead of a felony). With the inclusion of cannabis concentrates to the list of approved cannabis products in Winkler’s proposed legislation, many Minnesotans new to the cannabis scene are probably wondering what are cannabis concentrates anyway?
Cannabis concentrates are made by extracting the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant into a vaporizable form. A rough analogy is that dabs are to raw flower as hard liquor is to beer (not perfect as liquor isn’t concentrated beer, but it’s close). While some may see concentrates as a danger, it’s the exact same cannabinoids as in the plant itself, just in a more concentrated form. Similar to cannabis flower, you cannot lethally overdose on concentrates (however new users may want to start small and then build-up as needed for maximum enjoyment).
The wax pens that you may have seen in other legal states are just one form of cannabis concentrates, but there are many different ways that concentrates can be made that result in different final products. Most concentrates bought in a dispensary are made with a solvent, like butane or CO2, to separate the cannabinoids from the plant material. Under HF 4632, only those with a cannabis processing license will be able to use solvents to create concentrates at home, but there are other ways, such as pressing rosin or using ice water. Both of these methods would be allowed for any adult over the age of 21 to do at home. For those looking to buy their concentrates, there will be an 8 gram limit per purchase.
Cannabis concentrates and products containing those concentrates are currently being made by processors throughout Minnesota, however, they are just focusing on extracting CBD from hemp plants grown under Minnesota’s Hemp Pilot Program. Processors like Loon Lab or Superior Cannabis Company currently process and sell products such as oils, balms, and tinctures containing CBD. Once legalization passes, we can expect to see many similar products but containing over 0.3% THC (the current legal limit) sold throughout the state.
Do you have questions about cannabis concentrates? Drop us a line and let us know!
Want to learn more about the modern history of cannabis concentrates? Check out this episode of the podcast Great Moments in Weed History.