A Minnesota cannabis company is at odds with Faribault police after officers confiscated plants from a parking lot tent sale on suspicion that the company was illegally selling marijuana.

Officers responded Tuesday afternoon to citizen complaints of possible marijuana plants being sold in the parking lot of the Total Tobacco shop in the 400 block of Fourth Street NW. Tuesday was the first day it was legal to possess marijuana and to grow it in one's home under Minnesota's new legalization law.

Officers found 22 plants, each labeled by strain, according to a news release from the Faribault Police Department. Some of the plants contained THC concentration exceeding the .3% legal limit for hemp, the department said.

Police seized the plants and started an investigation. No arrests have been made and no charges were filed as of Wednesday evening. While it's undetermined if there will be charges, Faribault Police Chief John Sherwin said selling the plants appears to be a violation.

"There's a consensus that the product being sold as is is not allowed under Minnesota, even the new law," Sherwin told the Star Tribune.

Video of the seizure was posted on TikTok, where it has over 50,000 views.

Matt Little, owner of Midwest Extraction Services which was selling the plants, said it was a legal operation. The plants were in an early "vegetation" state and had no THC in them, Little said. The labels showing THC amounts above .3% were only what the plants would grow to, he said.

"It had 'potential' labeling and also had that these were under the .3% guidelines," Little said.

Little was upset with the response when he called police to ask about the seizure, saying he was turned down multiple times over the phone before getting an explanation.

"They didn't call me back after multiple calls, that was what was really disheartening," he said.

Minnesota businesses are not allowed to sell marijuana until they receive licenses, which have not been issued yet and could take until January 2025. Seeds are legal to sell for marijuana growth under the new state law.

Little said the company consulted with lawyers and that he believes they are within their rights and that the plants are not considered marijuana until they rise above .3% THC.

Sherwin disagreed with that interpretation, saying that a plant that grows into marijuana is still illegal to sell.

"A marijuana plant that doesn't have marijuana bud on it is still a marijuana plant," he said.

Jason Tarasek, an attorney who specializes in cannabis law, said he is not surprised there is disagreement and confusion. The 2018 federal farm bill defines hemp as being cannabis plants with .3% THC or less.

"I could see how they could make a straight-faced argument that it is hemp," he said.

The issue with that argument, Tarasek said, is that Minnesota regulators are taking a different interpretation — that plants that grow into marijuana are still considered a marijuana plant.

"At the very least, it's a gray area, but our regulators have been non-ambiguous in their interpretation," he said.