Where Can I Find More Information About...
You intend to process, manufacture and/or distribute human food and/or beverages containing hemp derived ingredients, including hemp products that have been classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) such as hulled hemp seed, hemp oil from seeds and hemp flour and are intended for ingestion or labeled for consumption.
Visit MDARD's Food and Dairy Division. A food establishment license is likely needed.
Find more information regarding hemp in food and dairy products.
You intend to sell viable hemp seed to other registered hemp growers in Michigan.
Visit MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Commercial Seed Program.
You intend to export viable hemp starts, transplants, clones, etc. to growers in other states and countries. To ship to other states: contact the state department of agriculture in the state to which you are shipping. To ship to other countries, visit MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Phytosanitary Export Certification Program.
You would like to learn about grant and funding opportunities and business development services that may be available to hemp growers and processors.
Visit MDARD's Ag Development Division.
You would like to develop hemp-based fertilizer products or want to understand fertilizer use and storage requirements.
Visit MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Fertilizer and Bulk Storage Program.
You would like information on Michigan's Right-to-Farm law, Clean Sweep pesticide and fertilizer disposal, environmental assurance programs, or guidelines for generally accepted agricultural and management practices.
Visit MDARD's Environmental Stewardship Division.
You intend to apply pesticides on hemp for control of weeds, insects, diseases, or other pests. You would like to know more about pesticide applicator requirements, registered pesticides, or agricultural worker and handler safety.
Visit MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Pesticide Program.
Find more information regarding hemp and pesticides.Hemp FAQs
- Industrial Hemp Grower Application
Did the hemp grower application fee increase? Why?
Yes. The new $1,250 fee for growers is prescribed in Public Act 220, the Industrial Hemp Growers Act, passed in 2020, as amended. This replaces the 2019 and 2020 pilot program under which growers were operating with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development under research and development purposes per Act 547 of 2014, the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, as amended. The increase occurred once Michigan began operating under the United States Department of Agriculture-approved state hemp plan on December 1, 2020. USDA requires the state program be self-supporting meaning no federal and state tax dollars do not support programmatic operations. MDARD encourages growers to ensure their business model covers licensing, sampling, and testing requirements. More information can be found at Michigan.gov/IndustrialHemp.
Is there a provision to grant exceptions to the grower registration fee based on number of plants grown or acreage?
No. The fee is a flat fee set in Act 220 of 2020, the Industrial Hemp Growers Act, as amended.
Can I use one check to pay for my hemp grower registration and hemp processor-handler license?
Yes, but ensure both complete applications are included with the check.
My grower registration expired November 30, 2020, and I have not been able to submit a renewal application yet. Am I in violation?
Hemp growers only need to maintain their registration, without a lapse, if they are performing "grower" activities as defined in Act 220 of 2020, as amended. "Growing" is defined in the Act to mean "plant, propagate, cultivate, or harvest live plants or viable seed." It also includes drying and storing harvested industrial hemp, possessing live industrial hemp plants or viable seed on a premise where the live industrial hemp plants or viable seed are grown, and selling harvested industrial hemp to a processor or a processor licensed under the medical marihuana facilities licensing Act.
- Industrial Hemp Processor-Handler Application
I want to sell industrial hemp. What do I do?
If you grow hemp and want to sell harvested hemp to a licensed hemp or marijuana processor, you may do so under your grower registration.
If you are intending to sell an already processed or finished industrial hemp product, you are required to obtain a processor-handler license. That license is described in the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, Public Act 547 of 2014, as amended, and requires any person who is processing, handling, brokering, or marketing industrial hemp to be licensed as a processor-handler.
Please note, depending on the industrial hemp product you intend to sell, there may be additional requirements for you to follow. Visit MDARD's hemp resources page to learn about requirements concerning human food and beverage, labeling, weights, and measures, and more.
Is this license required for retailers who do not have a physical location in Michigan?
Yes. Michigan law currently states any person who is processing, handling, brokering, or marketing industrial hemp in Michigan is required to obtain a processor-handler license. This applies both to in-state and out-of-state firms and is applicable to both physical and online sales activities. Public Act 547 of 2014, as amended, says processing and brokering sites must be in Michigan; but marketing sites can be located in-state or out-of-state.
My Processor-Handler license expired November 30, 2020, and I have not been able to submit a renewal application yet. Am I in violation?
To renew your expired processor-handler license, you are required to submit your completed renewal application, along with the license renewal fee, and all required documentation. Once all information is received and confirmed to be correct, your license will be issued.
It is always best if renewal paperwork is received by the department as one complete packet. Doing so will result in the most efficient and timely processing of your paperwork. If required elements do come in separately, they will still be processed, but in the order received. Remember, your processor-handler license will not be issued until all required elements are submitted and processed. Submitting a partial renewal application will not expedite license issuance.
Since your processor-handler license is now expired, processing, handling, brokering, or marketing industrial hemp without this license is a violation of the state's Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act.
Can I use one check to pay for my hemp Grower Registration and hemp Processor-Handler License?
Yes, but ensure both complete applications are included with the check.
Do companies need liability insurance to obtain a Processor-Handle License?
If a wholesaler, distributor, or retailer wishes to sell topical lotions or tinctures with CBD (and less than 0.3% THC with no health claims, nutritional/caloric values), do they have to possess a processor-handler license? Do such products need to be registered?
Michigan's Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, PA 547 of 2014, as amended, requires any person who is marketing industrial hemp in Michigan to be licensed as a processor-handler. This is an annual license running from December 1 through November 30, and the fee is $1,350. Hemp-derived topical locations and tinctures with a THC concentration of 0.3% or less may lawfully be marketed and sold in Michigan with this license.
Michigan does not require hemp products be registered.
I run a "hemp derived extraction" company, and we produce different grades of oils and powders that we sell as ingredients to product manufacturers. What do we need to do to sell our ingredients to product manufacturers that sell to Michigan dispensaries?
Michigan's Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, PA 547 of 2014, as amended, requires any person who is marketing industrial hemp in Michigan to be licensed as a processor-handler. This is an annual license running from December 1 through November 30, and the fee is $1,350. If you or your product manufacturers are selling or marketing industrial hemp, including already processed forms of hemp oils and powders, to Michigan dispensaries, a processor-handler license is required for all that are doing so. Apply for the processor-handler license, found at Michigan.gov/IndustrialHemp under the "Forms" tab.
My business "cleans" hemp seed for a registered industrial hemp grower. Do I need a processor-handler license?
A seed cleaner is involved in part of the process of converting raw hemp to a marketable form and would therefore need the processor-handler license.
Also note, the business receiving the cleaned seeds is also involved in the processing aspect and would require a processor-handler license.
My business is developing an in-field THC testing kit, and we will collect hemp samples to test the efficacy of the kit. Do we need a processor-handler licenser?
You will not need the license for sampling and testing alone. However, if your business is involved in any of the following activities defined in PA 547 of 2014, as amended, a license would be required:
- Processing - Converting raw industrial hemp into a marketable form.
- Handling - Possessing, storing, or transporting industrial hemp on premises owned, operated, or controlled by a registered grower or a licensed processor-handler.
- Broker - Engaging or participating in the marketing of industrial hemp by acting as an intermediary or negotiator between prospective buyers and sellers.
- Marketing - Promoting or selling industrial hemp or an industrial hemp commodity or product, including but not limited to, efforts to advertise and gather information about the needs or preferences of potential consumers and suppliers.
I am a licensed hemp processor and assume I need to record weight of incoming hemp shipments and the weight of products that we produce from hemp. What are the recordkeeping requirements?
Requirements for processing hemp in Michigan can be found in the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, PA 547 of 2014, as amended. The responsibilities for hemp processors are primarily found in Section 7 and 11 of this law. Aside from the licensing application documents required in Section 7, there currently are no recordkeeping requirements for hemp processor-handlers. This will likely change in when this Act is updated.
Am I able to use another hemp processor's product (for example, CBD isolate) to create my own hemp product to sell?
You will need a processor-handler license from MDARD to manufacture and/or sell a hemp product.
In addition, MDARD's processor law does not include any requirements about utilizing another manufacturer's product in creating your own. However, you should take some common-sense steps and consider speaking with an attorney to advise you. Some questions to consider:
- Do you need a manufacturing contract with the manufacturer of the CBD oil you intend to use? You're taking their product and benefitting from it - again, a question for an attorney as this is out of MDARD's regulatory authority.
- Is the lab conducting the testing have any accreditations?
- If the product is from out of state, has the lab and the product met that state's requirements for licensure, lab accreditation, and testing?
- Take a close look at the Certificate of Analysis (COA) to verify it is in fact for the product you intend to buy, and not some other stage of the process (for example, a COA from the hemp crop pre-harvest).
Check MDARD's website periodically as PA 547 of 2014, as amended, will likely be updated in 2021, and there may be additional requirements such as labeling for hemp products.
- Background Checks
Does the Background Check for hemp grower registration applications have to be submitted yearly?
Does the FBI Background Check have to be submitted for both Grower Registration and Process-Handler Licensing?
No, a background check is currently required for growers only. MDARD did require background checks for both hemp growers and hemp processors when the program began in 2019. It was a requirement of participation in the Ag Pilot programs in both 2019 and 2020. As of December 1, 2020, MDARD is operating under an approved hemp plan in Michigan. Fingerprint-based criminal history summaries are required for growers per the 2018 Farm Bill, USDA's Interim Final Rule, MDARD's Industrial Hemp Plan and Public Act 220 of 2020, all of which are specific to hemp cultivation. As the requirement was not listed in Public Act 547 for the processors, the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, MDARD has chosen to suspend the background check requireent for processors.
I have not received my FBI criminal history report. Can I still submit my hemp Grower Registration applications?
Yes. While MDARD prefers you submit a complete application, if you have all other requirements, please submit the application, and required documentation prior to the January 31 deadline to avoid the late fee.
FBI criminal history reports are required for "key participants." What does that mean?
Criminal history summaries are only needed for "Key participants". A key participant is defined in Act 220 as someone who has, "executive managerial control including, but not limited to, a chief executive officer, a chief operating officer, or a chief financial officer."
It would include those who have daily responsibilities that involve strategizing and decision making that contribute to the success of the business. For a corporation, this would primarily be any Tier 1 "C"-level positions such as those listed above. Criminal history records would not be needed for individual shareholders or middle management and lower positions.
I am having trouble obtaining an FBI criminal history report to renew my license. Do you have any advice?
A fingerprint-based criminal history check is now required for all hemp grower registrations and processor-handler licenses. If you have trouble securing your criminal history report, try doing a Google search for "FBI-approved channeler in Michigan." Several firms have notified MDARD that using an approved FBI channeler is a streamlined and simple way to go.
I have fingerprints done in the past and have a copy. Can I use an old set of fingerprints?
Yes, but the background check/criminal history report must be obtained within the last 60 days.
- Sampling and Laboratory
I had industrial hemp samples tested at a private lab, and my percentage of THC is approaching 0.3%. When should I contact MDARD to sample my lots?
Act 220 of 2020, as amended, requires growers to contact MDARD at least 20 days in advance of harvest, but no more than 30 days in advance. It is the responsibility of the grower to determine the likely harvest date and notify MDARD accordingly of the need to sample through MDARD's Hemp Pre-harvest Form found on the Hemp Forms website. Growers should work with their crop advisors and seed distributors to assess days to harvest in conjunction with visual survey of their lots.
Can I send pre-harvest samples to MDARD's Geagley Laboratory for testing?
At this time, Geagley Laboratory is only testing regulatory samples collected by MDARD inspectors. However, the lab will begin offering testing for growers to monitor their crop (called "service samples" or "monitoring samples") soon. However, please note Geagley Laboratory's primary function is to serve the regulatory needs of MDARD. As such, MDARD will be notified of any samples found to have a non-compliant THC level.
Will Geagley Laboratory test dry hemp (post-harvest), hemp intermediaries, CBD isolates, or finished hemp products?
The Geagley Laboratory currently does not offer these services.
Can I send my monitoring samples to any lab to be tested for THC?
Act 220 of 2020, as amended, and USDA's final rule state that labs will need to be DEA-registered starting December 31, 2022 to analyze for THC - even if they are analyzing monitoring samples rather than regulatory samples. In the meantime, growers can submit their monitoring samples to labs that are not DEA-registered.
- Animal Feed and Supplements
My company would like to make pet treats and animal feed with CBD. Is that legal?
Currently, no. The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly maintained the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) authority over food and feed ingredients. Because safe levels of hemp and hemp-derived products in animal feed have not yet been established, hemp and hemp-derived products cannot lawfully be added to or incorporated into a commercial feed product. This includes feeds intended for livestock, pets (including pet treats), or any other animal.
My company would like to make products containing hemp that support animal health and function. Is that legal?
Maybe. Animal supplements are products intended to support animal health, structure, and/or function and are often mixed into animal food or administered in a specific dosage (for example, pills or chews). Hemp-containing products meeting these criteria can be sold and distributed in Michigan, provided they do not make any nutritional (i.e. provide energy or nutrients) or animal drug claims (for example, to relieve joint pain). For additional information on supplements, visit the National Animal Supplement Council website.
My company would like to make animal drugs, ingestible forms and topical creams, using CBD to help manage pain and other ailments. Is that legal?
Currently, no. Animal drugs must be approved by FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. Approved animal drugs can be administered through animal feeds for the purpose to cure, treat, prevent, or mitigate disease, or affect the structure or function of the body in a manner other than food (nutrition, aroma, or taste). Michigan's Feed Program regulates animal drugs when added to a commercial animal feed. Hemp products making drug claims are not permitted and are subject to regulatory action.
To clarify, dog treats with CBD cannot be sold, and dog supplements that do not make nutritive and/or health claims can be sold?
Yes. See Hemp in Animal and Pet Food for additional information.
Does Michigan have testing requirements for CBD?
No. At this time, the only testing requirement prescribed by Michigan's industrial hemp law is testing of THC concentration. Specifically, all hemp grown must be sampled and analyzed before it is harvested to ensure it complies with the acceptable THC limits.
MDARD also has the authority to sample finished hemp products such as CBD, however; this would also occur only to ensure compliant THC concentrations.
Are CBD products with a THC content under 0.3% legal for minors to consume in Michigan?
MDARD regulates hemp cultivation and processing under the Industrial Hemp Growers Act, Public Act 220 of 2020, as amended and the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, Public Act 547, of 2014, as amended. These laws have age restrictions for persons who are growing and/or processing industrial hemp, but do not address age requirements for hemp or hemp product consumption.
The FDA has not approved CBD for use in food, drink, or dietary supplements. Review Hemp in Food and Dairy Products for details.
I want to send hemp samples to a private lab to monitor my crop for THC and CBD concentration. Does Michigan require labs to be licensed for this purpose?
There is no license required for a lab facility to perform THC or CBD testing on industrial hemp for the purposes of monitoring concentration. However, be advised that based on the USDA's Final Rule published on January 15, 2021, and PA 220 of 2020, as amended, effective December 31, 2022, all labs performing THC testing on industrial hemp will have to be DEA-registered.
- Miscellaneous Hemp Questions
I am reviewing township ordinances for zoning and have concerns about hemp. Is it considered agriculture or farming? Will there be (Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPS)? Does Right to Farm apply?
Based on the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is now a legal agricultural commodity that may be grown, harvested, stored, transported, processed, handled, brokered, and marketed. It is classified as agriculture/farming. Currently, there are no GAAMPS for industrial hemp, but development is under discussion within MDARD's Environmental Stewardship Division. For additional information, contact Mike Wozniak, Right to Farm Manager, at 517-284-5618.
As an agricultural commodity, industrial hemp would fall under Right to Farm laws.
Also be aware, Michigan's industrial hemp laws do contain preemption language prohibiting local government from adopting rules, regulations, codes, or ordinances that restrict or limit the requirements contained in the acts. This language is designed to allow industrial hemp to be treated at the local level the same as you would for any other agricultural commodity that is being grown.
Is hemp eligible for MDARD's specialty crop block grant program?
USDA does not currently recognize hemp as a specialty crop, so growers are not eligible for federal funding. A list of eligible commodities is posted online.
More information can be found be contacting MDARD's Grant and Commodity Program with the Agriculture Development Division online or at 800-292-3939.
What do you want to do? Other state resources:
- Learn about environmental obligations for the hemp industry such as solid waste regulations for growing and processing hemp and protecting air quality
- Understand marijuana processing and growing
Other Web Resources
- USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Hemp Production website
- USDA Hemp Production Program Q&A
- Get assistance for your business with growth strategies and funding - Visit the Michigan Economic Development Corporation website.
- Michigan State University's hemp website
- MSU Bulletin: E3402 Industrial Hemp Production in Michigan
- Michigan Hemp Farmers Association
- iHemp Michigan
- MDARD Comments on USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program- Interim Final Rule - January 29, 2020
- MDARD 2019 Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program Final Report
National Non-profit hemp groups