The legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan was initiated in 2008 under the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. Later in November of 2018, the adult use of cannabis was also legalized under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. In January of 2019, hemp and Cannabinoidol (CBD) derived from it was further legalized this time under the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act.
Within a span of 10 years, the residents of Michigan have witnessed the legalization of all forms of marijuana although it is subject to regulations. The new laws are recent and many people do not really understand what it means for them. In fact, there are a number of communities that have chosen to opt out- at least until all laws and regulations are concluded.
Industrial hemp laws
Hemp also known as industrial hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC which is the psychoactive component in cannabis. The 2014 federal Farm Bill only allowed research institutions to grow, cultivate and market hemp. This was amended by The 2018 Farm Bill which legalizes industrial hemp and provides a federal framework for industrial hemp production by permitting hemp growers and processors, with hemp legislation, to engage in commercial hemp production. The 2018 Michigan Public Act 621 provided the necessary state legislation for growing of hemp although it requires registration and licensing of those who intend to participate under the MDARD program.
The act states other conditions for growing hemp including:
- Identification of all growing locations during application.
- The processing, handling, brokering or marketing hemp be done by licensed processor-handlers.
- Signage is placed at the boundaries of each growing area.
- Hemp is tested for THC content prior to harvest and
- To show proof of registration and licensing when requested by law enforcement.
Recreational cannabis laws
The Proposal 1 of 2018 was passed which legalized the possession and cultivation of recreational marijuana in Michigan State. This too is not without regulations with the notable ones being:
- Possession and use by adults above 21 years only
- A possession and purchase limit of 2.5 ounces at any given time
- A maximum of 12 plant to be cultivated but away from public view
- Cannabis not to be used in public spaces like workspace, learning institutions and correctional facilities.
Regarding CBD products
According to MRA, CBD products produced from marijuana will not be regulated as marijuana if the THC content is below 0.3% while according to DAR, products derived from industrial hemp with a THC concentration above 0.3% is classified as marijuana and regulated through the MDLRA. It is also currently illegal to add CBD into food products or drinks or sell it as dietary supplements. However, hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) while CBD is not.
What it means for Michigan residents
This all means that the residents of Michigan can grow, manufacture and use cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes as long as they follow the provided rules and regulations. Industrial hemp is also legal and farmers continue to seek licenses under the MDARD hemp program. CBD consumers can now purchase hemp-CBD products from specific stores and health shops in Michigan. Cannabis-CBD can be found in licensed retailers as well.