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Health officials warn about THC products hundreds of times over legal limit

Health officials warn of illegal levels of THC in cannabis products
Health officials warn of illegal levels of THC in cannabis products 01:59

MINNEAPOLIS — There's a new warning for consumers about illegal high-dose THC products.

Minnesota health officials said they have recently seen products that are hundreds of times above the legal limit.

At Hemp House THC dispensary in Minneapolis' Wedge neighborhood, you'll find plenty of the latest drinks and edibles featuring THC.

"We get a lot of customers that are curious about THC," said general manager Cody Dornbusch.

While products on Hemp House's shelves get the green light, that's not the case everywhere.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, they're finding some products with THC levels way over the legal limit.

"Many of these are not legal, and some very not safe," said Chris Elvrum, Assistant Director of the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Medical Cannabis.

RELATED: Local cannabis entrepreneur hopes to have first Black woman-owned dispensary and lift others up too

In Minnesota, beverages and edibles are allowed to have five milligrams of THC per serving.

The health department said they found close to 40% of THC shops were selling illegal high-dose products, or those that appealed to children.

The department said high-risk THC products are required to be destroyed.

Of the departments 170 inspections, only 25% of shops were found to be fully compliant with the law. The department said that could be for a variety of reasons.

If the the health department finds a violation, they will issue a correction order. If the problem persists, they can fine businesses up to $10,000 per incident.

"Some of the other non-compliants could mean they're not registered, their products weren't placed behind the counter or in a locked case, that sort of thing," said Elvrum.

Dornbusch said Minnesota brands tend to know the constraints of the law. If anything, it's brands from outside Minnesota, he said, that may be in violation.

"We hear from out-of-state brands still that might not be totally aware of what's happening in Minnesota, that might have the laws mixed up in their own brain," said Dornbusch.

The state said side effects of the illegal-dose products include unresponsiveness, extreme anxiety or panic attacks and psychotic episodes.

When in doubt, Dornbusch suggests starting with low dose products, like those that are only two milligrams per serving.

"Be an informed consumer and know what you're buying, and we just want to have a safe and legal marketplace," said Elvrum.

The state says if you come across products with unsafe THC levels, you should file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Health

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