Marijuana MSO Vireo Health sues Minnesota over new edibles law

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Marijuana multistate company Vireo Health, one of two licensed medical cannabis operators in Minnesota, filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that a new law allowing hemp-derived edibles sales unfairly discriminate against MJ-derived edibles makers.

A number of state agencies and officials are named in the complaint, including Attorney General Keith Ellison and Jan Malcolm, commissioner of the health department, Health, Eden Prairie TV station KMSP reported.

Minneapolis-headquartered Vireo Health, which does business as Green Goodness Holdings, and Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, are the two licensed MMJ operators in Minnesota.

Last spring, state officials passed a law allowing unlicensed companies to sell hemp-derived edibles containing THC to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

But under the law, which took effect July 1, Vireo and Green Thumb – which produce marijuana-derived edibles, are restricted to selling products to patients registered in the state’s MMJ program.

The law, which took effect July 1, has attracted a number of out-of-state brands and retailers to Minnesota.

The lawsuit argues that MMJ companies such as Vireo also should be permitted to sell its products in mainstream outlets and that “there is no rational basis to create separate legal requirements for sellers of medical cannabis-derived edibles, like Vireo, and sellers of hemp-derived edibles.”

Further, the lawsuit argues that MMJ companies in Minnesota are held to higher compliance and lab-testing standards, even though their products are safer.

“Without any rational basis, Minnesota law treats medical cannabis-derived edibles very differently from identical hemp-derived edibles,” the complaint notes.

“The irrational discrimination against Vireo violates the Minnesota constitution.”