Production, Sale of Delta-8 THC to Require Licensing in Michigan
Hemp growers and processors have likely heard about the upcoming change to delta-8 THC regulation in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) wants to ensure industrial hemp growers and processors understand it may impact businesses growing and/or processing hemp intended for cannabidiol (CBD)-derived intoxicating compounds.
While delta-8 THC is present in small quantities in cannabis, it can also be processed in a laboratory from CBD. Delta-8 THC binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, causing a user to feel high, similar to the “regular delta-9 THC” of marijuana. Delta-9 THC is referenced in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, the United States Department of Agriculture’s final rule regarding hemp production, and Michigan’s hemp laws. While delta-8 THC has not been studied extensively, and more research is needed on the effects it has on the mind and body, the Michigan Legislature has taken steps to ensure any Cannabis-derived intoxicating compounds are regulated due to public health concerns to protect public health. More information about delta-8 THC is available here.
On July 13, 2021, Governor Whitmer signed legislation, sponsored by Representative Jim Lilly (R-Park Twp.), to regulate delta-8 THC, which is currently being sold – untested and unregulated – in convenience stores, gas stores, and tobacco/smoke shops throughout the state. Beginning Oct. 11, 2021, it will be illegal for businesses in Michigan to produce or sell delta-8 THC and related intoxicating Cannabis products without licensing from Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
The legislation categorizes all THC isomers of cannabis, including delta-8 THC, as marijuana, and updates the definitions of marijuana, THC, and hemp accordingly. Michigan’s hemp processor law (PA 547 of 2014) and grower law (PA 220 of 2020) are also updated, effective October 11, 2021, to reflect those updates (House Bills 4744 and 4741, respectively). The Acts will include an updated definition of industrial hemp to reflect the 0.3 percent maximum for “THC”, rather than delta-9 THC alone.
Additional information about Michigan’s industrial hemp program is available at www.Michigan.gov/IndustrialHemp. In addition, click on the red envelope on the website to register to receive email updates from MDARD with important program news, updates on the federal hemp rules, changes to state hemp laws, regulatory reminders for hemp licensees, and more.