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Taste of Minnesota puts THC on the menu.

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View our Fair Use Policy: here By Rachelle Gordon

A popular Minnesota food and music festival is back for the 4th of July holiday weekend—and this year, attendees will notice a bit more green on the menu.

The Taste of Minnesota attracts upwards of 100,000 people for two days of local fare, big-name bands, and plenty of Minnesota brews. New for 2023 is a dedicated cannabis area, featuring a wide variety of hemp-derived THC edibles and beverages.

Event organizers partnered with popular Minneapolis craft brewer Surly to create a low-dose weed drink specifically for the festival. Dubbed “Just a Taste,” the beverage contains 2.5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC.

The free festival will have three stages throughout a multi-block section of downtown Minneapolis. Headliners include Third Eye Blind, Motion City Soundtrack, and Big Boi of OutKast fame. Celebrity chef and local favorite Andrew Zimmern will serve as the official food ambassador.

The “MN Made THC” section will be tucked behind the Artist Alley on the corner of Washington and Marquette. In addition to Surly Brewing, offerings from a range of brands such as Granny’s pretzels will be available.

The addition of marijuana products to the Taste of Minnesota could make this one of the biggest on-site consumption events in the Midwest. Since adult-use cannabis regulations do not go into effect until August 1st, the Taste of Minnesota is not required to obtain special permits related to THC sales.

GreenState reached out to Taste of Minnesota organizers for comment, but did not get a reply prior to publication.

Cannabis beverages have exploded in popularity in Minnesota after the state legislature legalized hemp-derived THC edibles in 2022. The unique law led nearly every local craft brewer to add cannabis drinks to their catalogs, with many bars and liquor stores capitalizing on the newfound source of revenue.

The presence of cannabis at the uber-mainstream Taste of Minnesota is yet another example of the normalization of the plant, particularly in the Midwest. The beloved event had been on hiatus for seven years, making this year’s re-introduction highly anticipated (no pun intended).


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