Democrats in the Minnesota House stayed quiet about their bill to legalize edibles containing certain amounts of THC — the cannabis ingredient that gets people high — to give it a better chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said Tuesday.

The strategy paid off — the bill was approved by the Legislature, signed by Gov. Tim Walz and became law Friday. Minnesotans 21 or older can now buy edibles and beverages that contain no more than 5 milligrams of THC per serving and 50 milligrams per package.

"Drawing attention to this change in the regulatory structure I don't think would have helped the bill pass," said Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, during a Tuesday news conference at Indeed Brewing Co. in Minneapolis. "It was done publicly. We just didn't promote it because sometimes having more public attention amps up the level of political pressure that certain people in the other party may feel."

The THC-infused products must be derived from legally certified hemp — which contains trace amounts of the psychoactive compound — rather than marijuana, which remains illegal in Minnesota. But THC has the same effect, no matter the source.

The new law caught some state regulators and lawmakers by surprise. The leader of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, the agency that will regulate the new cannabis products, told the Star Tribune the allowance of edibles containing 5 milligrams of THC per serving wasn't done at the board's request. But the board didn't object either, as it also places restrictions on certain previously unregulated cannabis products that were sold in high doses.

Republican Sens. Jim Abeler and Michelle Benson, who helped assemble the large health and human services bill that included the THC edible provision, expressed confusion about the new law last week. Abeler, of Anoka, said in an interview he did not realize the law would legalize edibles containing any THC, and he called for the Legislature to consider rolling it back.

Benson, of Ham Lake, refused to answer questions about whether she understood the law's full impact. "Do you think we made gummies legal? One of the papers had a story that said gummies were legal. Obviously someone isn't reading the law," Benson said.

Edibles, including gummies, that contain up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving are legal under the new law. The gummies can't look like cartoon characters or animals, or be modeled after product brands that are primarily consumed by children, according to the law. THC products must be clearly labeled, sold only to those 21 or older and be in child-proof and tamper-evident packages.

While they did not promote the bill during the session, Winkler and DFL Rep. Heather Edelson, the bill's author, said they were transparent about it. The bill received multiple public committee hearings in the Democratic-controlled House.

"Regulations and science are complicated things," Winkler said. "Just because we did it in the public eye doesn't mean that everybody was paying attention or tracking it."

A spokeswoman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. In a statement sent to media outlets, Miller criticized Democrats for holding a news conference to discuss the new edible law and not addressing recent crime in Minneapolis.

"Today, Democrats held a press conference in Minneapolis to talk about legalizing edibles, less than 12 hours after a night of dangerous incidents spread throughout the city," Miller said in the statement. "Innocent people and law enforcement were forced to dodge fireworks intentionally shot at them and their homes, and a shooting at a popular park injured many others."

Edelson said she personally did not intend for the edible law to fly under the radar. But it might not have passed had it received more scrutiny, she said.

"I think if it would've been dubbed a legalization bill, it would have never passed," Edelson said. "Any time you talk about legalization of cannabis in the state of Minnesota, things become very partisan."

The Republican-controlled Senate has opposed recreational marijuana legalization, while House Democrats and Gov. Tim Walz support it. During the Tuesday news conference, Winkler once again called for the Legislature to legalize recreational marijuana.

The new law places no limit on how many CBD and THC products can be purchased and doesn't regulate who can manufacture or sell them. The Pharmacy Board released some guidance last week to answer common questions about the law. The board, which employs 23 people, will be relying on consumer complaints because it does not have the resources to inspect all new products for compliance.

Edelson told reporters she is working with the League of Minnesota Cities — signaling she's looking to local governments to help regulate THC edibles.

"It will focus on making sure that we have compliance with the law," Edelson said. She added later that she will introduce legislation to tax THC-infused edible products during next year's legislative session, which starts in January.