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Where Can I Find More Information About...
You intend to process, handle, broker, or market industrial hemp. As of April 13, 2022, hemp processing is regulated by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, formerly the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
Visit CRA’s hemp processing program.
Animal Food, including Livestock and Pet Food
You intend to process, manufacture and/or distribute animal and/or pet food and treats containing hemp or any of its derivatives as ingredients.
Visit MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Animal Feed Program.
Find more information regarding hemp and CBD in animal and pet feed.
Business Development and Funding Opportunities
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 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 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.
Human Food or Beverage
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 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.
View MDARD Pesticide Videos on Safe Pesticide use on Cannabis.
You intend to sell hemp products that need to be weighed before purchase or are packaged for sale.
Visit MDARD's Laboratory Division, Weights and Measures Program.
Find more information regarding hemp packaging and weighing.
Viable Hemp Plants
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.
Viable Hemp Seed
You intend to sell viable hemp seed to other registered hemp growers in Michigan.
View the Hemp Seed Production Compliance Assistance Document.
Visit MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Commercial Seed Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 the Background Check for hemp grower registration applications have to be submitted yearly?
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.
I have questions about CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoid product labeling, testing requirements, THC limits, and production standards. Where can I find information?
Hemp processing is regulated by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency as of April 13, 2022. Please contact that agency at 517-284-0815 or visit www.Michigan.gov/HempProcessing for information.
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 Processing and Sales
I have questions about hemp processing. Where can I find information?
Hemp processing is regulated by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency as of April 13, 2022. Please contact that agency at 517-284-0815 or visit www.Michigan.gov/HempProcessing for information.
I am a registered hemp grower and would like to sell my harvested industrial hemp. Do I need a different license?If you are a registered hemp grower with MDARD, you may sell raw, harvested hemp to licensed hemp or medical marijuana processors without an additional license. A Hemp Processor-Handler license issued by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency is needed to manufacture or sell intermediary, in-process, or finished hemp products or smokable flower. Contact the Cannabis Regulatory Agency for licensing information. Registered hemp growers cannot sell or transport viable hemp plants or seeds per PA 220 of 2020, as amended. At this time, a Hemp Processor-Handler license, now issued by the CRA, is needed. Transportation between the registered growing locations of the same grower is allowed.
Please note, depending on the type of 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.
I am a registered hemp grower. Can I offer U-pick hemp?
A registered hemp grower can only sell hemp to persons with a Hemp Processor-Handler License (HPHL) or a medical marijuana processor license (both issued by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency), per PA 220 of 2020, the Industrial Hemp Growers Act. Therefore, the hemp grower cannot sell directly to the public. The grower would need to also hold either of the above processor licenses or sell the standing hemp lot to someone with either of these licenses and follow the steps below:
- The registered hemp grower must submit a request online to MDARD for preharvest sampling.
- The registered hemp grower must receive test results (emailed in typically 5 to 7 days) from MDARD.
- If the crop is found by MDARD’s lab to be compliant with respect to the THC level, the registered hemp grower has 30 days to harvest FROM THE DATE OF SAMPLING.
- The registered hemp grower sells the compliant lot to a licensed hemp processor or licensed medical marijuana processor (or the registered hemp growers also holds one of these licenses). The grower must maintain a record of this sale that contains the name of the processor, license number, weight (approximate given crop is standing, or square footage or number of potted plants), sale price, date of sale, and THC test results.
- After the sale of standing hemp from the grower to a processor, the flower from the compliant lot can then be harvested by customers only during the 30-day harvest window.
- The grower must ensure that any parts of plants remaining must be harvested or disposed of by the 30-day deadline.
- MDARD recommends that the sale of the harvested hemp flower – from the licensed processor to the customer - is accompanied by a receipt containing the processor name, license number, total weight of hemp, sale price, date of sale, and THC test result report.
- Whole plants, seeds, and other cuttings may not be sold to U-pick customers (viable plant material and seeds may only be sold by processors to other licensed processors or registered growers).
Miscellaneous Hemp Questions
I grow and process Cannabis and need to get certified for best practices in harvesting and processing crops. Can I sign up for an audit with MDARD?
MDARD does not offer audit services for marijuana or hemp.
Background: Some businesses require various certifications for safe product harvesting, processing, organic growing methods, etc. Likewise, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency in Michigan has allowances for licensees that become GACP or GMP certified (good agricultural collection processes or good manufacturing practices). Many businesses reach out to MDARD asking about auditing services.
MDARD performs customer-requested, federal GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) audits and GHP (Good Handling Practices) audits on fruit and vegetables only at this time. A GAP audit is a third-party audit that ensures that the growing, harvesting, washing, and packing of fresh produce meets or exceed specific food safety guidelines to reduce the risk of microbial contamination at the harvesting stage. A GHP audit measures efforts to reduce the risk of microbial contamination after harvest in the packing, handling storage, transportation, and processing stages. GHP audits are typically performed on raw agricultural commodities that are not subject to FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulations.
Since marijuana is not federally legal, GAP audits under this program are not available. MDARD does not currently have a GAP audit program for hemp.
MDARD suggests contacting industry groups to provide recommendations for third-party auditors for hemp and marijuana.
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.
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 does not test hemp samples sent in by growers. Only regulatory samples collected by MDARD inspectors are tested. However, if you represent a state Department or law enforcement agency and need assistance, please contact Geagley Laboratory at 800-292-3939.
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.
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
- Visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Cannabis Regulatory Agency website.
Other Web Resources
- Crop Acreage Reporting (pdf) - general guidance for any crop on reporting acreage to USDA's Farm Service Agency
- USDA Farmers.gov hemp and farm programs - discusses crop insurance, loans, and conservation programs available to hemp farmers
- USDA Service Center office locator for FSA reporting
- NIFA's Industrial Hemp page -USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, grant information for university research of industrial hemp and helpful hemp funding FAQ
- Publication 52 Revision: New Mailability Policy for Cannabis and Hemp-Related Products
- EPA - Pesticide Products Registered for Use on Hemp
- Notice on Importation of Hemp Seeds - USDA AMS guidance
- American Seed Trade Association's website - specific for hemp
- 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