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Kasson City Council considering moratorium on THC sales

The city will defer to Dodge County before deciding if or how to regulate sales of delta-9 edibles.

Delta Eight Gummies
Delta Eight gummies pictured on Monday, April 11, 2022.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin
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KASSON — The Kasson City Council discussed the possibility of implementing a moratorium on hemp-derived THC product sales in the city during its meeting Wednesday night. While no official action was taken on the subject, Mayor Chris McKern said he would favor a moratorium.

“It would be temporary, very temporary, and come up with something in the next 30, 60, 90 days,” McKern said.

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Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation that permits the sale, purchase and consumption of edibles that contain up to 5 milligrams of THC derived from legally certified hemp — or delta-9 THC. Since the law took effect on July 1, several Minnesota cities, including Waseca, Robbinsdale, Marshall and St. Joseph, have implemented citywide moratoriums on THC sales.

Per guidance from the League of Minnesota Cities, Kasson could place a moratorium on THC sales for up to one year in order to study the issue and craft ordinances that regulate or restrict those sales.

Kasson Mayor Chris McKern.JPG
Chris McKern

On Wednesday, McKern asked City Administrator Timothy Ibisch to contact Dodge County officials to see if the county will act on the new law.

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“The county actually regulates, for example, tobacco sales,” Ibisch said. “Dodge County actually does that regulating. So, that’s why I think the mayor is interested in seeing if they’re planning on doing anything in addition to what already is on the books. … We wouldn’t be able to less restrictive (than the county), but we could be more restrictive.”

After checking in with county leadership, McKern suggested that the council circle back and consider what regulations, if any, would affect THC sales in Kasson.

“The state didn’t give any guidance,” McKern said.

Multiple council members voiced opinions that if the city did not permit delta-9 sales, residents would turn to Rochester or other cities to buy edibles.

“I’m fine with it if somebody wants to do them,” said Councilman Dan Eggler. “Why not let somebody sell it versus going to another city to buy it?”

Councilman Ryan Christensen echoed Eggler, saying he doesn’t want the city to lose potential business to Rochester.

“I don’t necessarily want to be the first to allow it, but I don’t want to restrict it,” said Councilman Duane Burton. “I kind of want to follow, see what the precedents are.”

Ibisch said that after conferring with Dodge County, the city’s next steps would be to hold a public hearing on a moratorium.

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“If they pass the moratorium, they would give us a timeline,” Ibisch said of the city council. “They would say, ‘Staff, within 60 days or 100 days or whatever, we want you to come up with what the regulations for governing this should be. And until that point, we’re not going to allow sales of this product in the city of Kasson.”

The Kasson City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24.

Dené K. Dryden is the Post Bulletin's region reporter, covering the greater Rochester area. Before joining the Post Bulletin in 2022, she attended Kansas State University and served as an editor for the student newspaper, the Kansas State Collegian, and news director for Wildcat 91.9, K-State's student radio station. Readers can reach Dené at ddryden@postbulletin.com.
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