Alexandria leaders mull new law legalizing THC edibles – Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — A new state law that legalizes THC — a psychoactive component of cannabis that gets users high — in food and beverages has municipal leaders in Minnesota wondering how to regulate it.

During Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting, City Attorney Tom Jacobson said there was nothing in the law that answers key questions such as who can sell THC products and where.

Jacobson said Alexandria and other cities will need to determine how the new law will affect city employees, zoning, licensing, public safety, law enforcement, and more.

“They can legalize it but you can’t drive under the influence of it,” Jacobson said.

Last week, a group of about 30 large and small city leaders from the Minnesota Association of City Attorneys, which is supported by the League of Minnesota Cities, met to discuss the topic and it sparked many more questions. So many solutions, said Jacobson. They plan to meet this Friday.

Jacobson said a frustrating part of the new law was that city leaders “were not invited to the table” while the legislation was being considered.

“It took everyone by surprise,” Jacobson said. “There’s no guidance on how to make it work.”

Tom Jacobson

Mayor Bobbie Osterberg asked Jacobson if it was possible the city just wouldn’t allow THC products in the city.

Jacobson said that technically it might be possible, but it might present boundary enforcement issues if the city doesn’t allow it, but the county does. He added that this is another avenue the city should explore.

Due to all the confusion and questions, Jacobson said he expects the Legislature to clean up and clarify the law in its next session.

Until then, many questions are unanswered.

THC was legalized on July 1

under a new law regulating hemp.

The city completes eminent domain work for 18th Avenue.

Jacobson also informed the council of the city’s use of eminent domain to acquire property for the 18th Avenue reconstruction project.

He said the city was finally able to secure the certificate of transfer of ownership of a strip of land at the northeast corner of the O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot to the city as a “necessity public”.

The $8.3 million project will reconstruct and realign 18th Avenue between Nokomis Street and Fillmore Street. It will also rebuild Hawthorne Street between 17th and 18th Avenue and Jefferson Street between 12th and 18th Avenue, and add a right turn lane on Broadway.

It will also replace old water pipes, outdated sewage system and eliminate a lift station which should be replaced soon.

As part of the project, the city has been trying to buy the land for months, but now the purchase will be complete, according to Jacobson.

Silver Maple Investments leases the property to several tenants, including O’Reilly Auto Parts, Alex Bearing and Farm Supply, JG Hair Care, Alexandria Title Company, Kaleidoscope Business Services, Activecare Chiropractic Clinic and Homegrown Nutrition.

Appointed Election Judges

The council has appointed 72 electoral judges for the August 9 primary elections and the November 8 general election.

Minnesota election laws require election judges to be appointed by the council at least 25 days before the election.

Judges are also required to complete two hours of training.

City purchases second wetland credit

Council approved a second wetland credit purchase for the Highway 29 sidewalk extension project.

Wetland credits are purchased from existing wetland banks.

At its June 27 meeting, the board purchased 0.74 acres of wetland credits from EIP Credit Company for $17,750 including application fees.

The second deal will purchase 0.3113 acres of wetland credits for $13,867. These credits are more expensive due to the requirements of the Department of Natural Resources to purchase the credits from a specific wetland bank service area near the location of the sidewalk project.

The project will extend the sidewalk from 34th Avenue to 44th Avenue. The total cost is estimated at just under $500,000. A Local Partnership Program grant of $410,000 will cover the bulk of the cost and the remaining $89,012 will be paid through municipal state assistance funds. Wetland purchases will be covered by the local partnership program.

Tenders have not yet been issued for the sidewalk project. Schoonhoven said the bid market is not good at the moment and there is a shortage in one of the concrete components.

The City approves the authorization of a food truck

Blowin’ Smoke BBQ and Catering received a mobile food truck license.

The company is owned by Kyle Brundage of Morris. The required liability insurance certificate and a license from the Minnesota Department of Health have been submitted.

In another licensing action, the council issued a temporary four-day liquor license that allows the Alexandria Elks Lodge to sell beer at the Douglas County Fair Aug. 17-20.

The request also requires approval from Minnesota’s Division of Alcohol and Gaming Law Enforcement.