Growing Industrial Hemp in Michigan
At this time, MDARD is actively working on developing a state industrial hemp plan as required by the new federal law. Though the state industrial hemp licensing law comes into effect on January 15, 2019, the State is prohibited by federal law from issuing registrations or licenses created by the Act until the state plan is submitted and approved by USDA. USDA has 60 days after submittal for review and approval.
On December 20, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing industrial hemp under U.S. federal law and appointing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the federal agency with regulatory oversight.
The 2018 Farm Bill provides a framework for the states to regulate industrial hemp provided there is a USDA approved “state plan” in place to monitor and regulate the production of the crop. The plan is required to demonstrate that the state has adequate policies and procedures in place to ensure the following:
- A record of where hemp is produced in the state;
- Procedures to ensure hemp produced in the state meets the legal definition of not more than 0.3% THC;
- Procedures for disposal of materials with a THC concentration exceeding 0.3%, and;
- Procedures for handling violations of the 2018 Farm Bill and the proposed state plan.
On December 28, 2018 Michigan House Bills 6330, 6331 and 6380 (Public Acts 641, 642, and 648 of 2018) were signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder, amending the Industrial Hemp Research Act creating the new Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act. The Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act requires the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to regulate the growing, processing and handling of industrial hemp. The other new laws make changes to the Public Health Code and the Michigan Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act to address the new Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act.
MDARD is required to:
- Establish, operate and administer an industrial hemp licensing program;
- Establish an Industrial Hemp Licensing Fund;
- Establish a growers’ registration program which would apply to anyone 18 years or older growing industrial hemp, except Michigan colleges or universities engaged in research;
- Establish a processor-handler license program which would apply to anyone 18 years or older processing, handling, brokering or marketing industrial hemp, with the following exceptions:
- Michigan colleges or universities engaged in research,
- Processors licensed under PA 281 of 2016, or
- A testing facility licensed under PA 281 of 2016 or approved by MDARD.
- Make rules, as necessary, for both the administration of the act and testing.
Questions regarding growing, processing or handling industrial hemp in Michigan may be emailed to: MDARD-Industrialhemp@michigan.gov