Michigan's New Industrial Hemp Laws

Michigan is the most recent state to enact an industrial hemp cultivation, processing and sales laws during the 2018 legislative season. The states are racing to get a foothold in the hemp market as demand increases. Michigan enacted Bill 6330: Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act and Bill 6331: to amend the Medical Marijuana Act.

The newly enacted Bill 6330 requires the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to establish and oversee an industrial hemp licensing and registration program. The amendments prohibit any person in the state, including universities, from growing industrial hemp without registering as a grower. The grower registration expires on November 30th of the year that it was issued but applications can be submitted at any time. Growers must perform testing 15 days ahead of harvest, and receive a certification that the THC levels meed the maximum thresholds. A grower registration fee of $100.00, and a $50 fee for site modifications.. The enrolled bill also requires all persons processing, handling, brokering, or marketing industrial hemp to be licensed as a processor-handler. A processor-handler license application fee of $1,350.00.

Michigan’s amendment to the medical marihuana laws is proactive as it incorporates changes that other states are addressing through administrative rule making. Once hemp is excluded from the definition of marijuana, medical and retail dispensaries can no longer sell hemp products. The new law addresses this issue by requiring the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to issue rules by March 1, 2019 that permits medical dispensaries to sell hemp products.