Michigan offers clarity on legal CBD, industrial hemp regulations

The Bureau of Marijuana Regulation (BMR) and the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) issued joint guidance today regarding CBD (cannabidiol) and industrial hemp.

CBD, or cannabidiol, has become increasingly popular in lotions, tinctures and foods. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, a version of the cannabis plant that is low in THC, the part of cannabis that gives pot its high.

CBD oil was legalized in Michigan this year with a bill sponsored by State Rep. Steve Johnson. Hemp was legalized on the federal level in 2018.

Here's how CBD and industrial hemp are defined:

  • Industrial Hemp: the plant Cannabis sativa L. with delta-9-THC concentrations below 0.3%. Includes products made from the industrial hemp plant. 
  • CBD (Cannabidiol): a substance derived from cannabis plants that does not have psychoactive effects.

Here's what to know about CBD:

  • CBD products produced from marijuana will not be regulated as marijuana if the THC content is below 0.3%.
  • Edible marijuana products containing CBD made by licensed processors may only be produced using CBD obtained from regulated sources. Currently, these regulated sources include state of Michigan licensed growers or processors under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).
  • BMR is in the process of writing administrative rules under the MMFLA and Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) to determine the methods for industrial hemp grown under the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act to be transferred to licensed marijuana facilities. Until the administrative rules are written, there is no authorized method for licensed facilities to obtain industrial hemp.
  • Only facilities licensed by the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation (BMR) under the MMFLA can commercially grow, process, and sell marijuana and marijuana products.
  • BMR does not regulate marijuana or marijuana products grown or produced by registered qualifying patients or designated primary caregivers under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) or individuals over 21 for personal use under MRTMA.  

Here's what to know about industrial hemp:

  • Any product derived from industrial hemp with a THC concentration above 0.3% is classified as marijuana and regulated under the laws that apply to those products through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
  • Products derived from industrial hemp, including CBD oil, fall under several different categories. Any substances that will be added to food or drink or marketed as dietary supplements must first be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for that intended use. At this time, the FDA has not approved CBD for use in food or drink or as a dietary supplement. Therefore, it’s currently illegal to add CBD into food products or drinks or sell it as dietary supplements.
  • GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) is a list of substances that the FDA considers safe to add to food. Hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil are considered GRAS, as of 12/20/18. CBD is currently not considered GRAS, as of 3/29/19. In Michigan, any food production falls under the Michigan Food Law and the licensing requirements within the law.
  • Growing industrial hemp will require a license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). MDARD is in the process of developing a licensing program for growers to meet the requirements of both state and federal laws to allow interstate commerce of the plants.
     

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