MDARD Director McDowell signs emergency rules setting testing standards for Michigan's first industrial hemp crop

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: August 15, 2019
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

Lansing – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell announced the implementation of emergency rules putting testing standards in place for Michigan’s first crop of industrial hemp.

“This is an exciting next step for the growth of our newest agricultural crop, and with harvest coming up, we needed to provide clear direction for Michigan’s industrial hemp growers,” said McDowell. “These temporary rules help ensure our growers’ first crop meets the standards and requirements outlined in the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act.”

Since the launch of Michigan’s industrial hemp pilot program for the 2019 planting season, MDARD has processed 541 hemp grower registrations across the state covering 32, 243 acres. Additionally, 389 processor-handler licenses have been issued. 

The new rules, processed under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act emergency rules provisions, went into effect today after being filed with the Office of the Great Seal. These rules will be in place for up to six months and may be extended once for an additional six-month period, if needed.

The new rules establish proper sampling and analytical testing methods for measuring the concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Cannabis sativa L., specifically, industrial hemp, to ensure levels do not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis. 

“With these rules in place for six months, we have time for our growers to move forward while we wait for federal standards,” McDowell added. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to issue federal guidance and requirements later this fall to help better shape a long-term statewide industrial hemp plan.”

A link to the rules, sampling procedures and other information about Michigan’s industrial hemp pilot program, may be found at


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