In a joint effort, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) through the Bureau of Marihuana Regulations (BMR) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) issued a joint advisory in their attempt to clarify CBD (cannabidiol) and industrial hemp for Michigan.
While both marihuana and industrial hemp come from the same Cannabis Sativa L plant, BMR/MDARD have determined that if the plant has a delta 9 THC level above 0.3% then use of the plant (excludes stalks) in products will be regulated by BMR under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Products with delta 9 THC level below 0.3% and includes products made from industrial hemp are regulated by MDARD.
Products from industrial hemp, including the CBD oil fall into different categories. Following the FDA’s lead, MDARD has concluded that CBD products added to food or drinks or marketed as a dietary supplement must past FDA approval. Things like hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein or hemp seed oil are considered safe products otherwise known as GRAS–Generally Regarded as Safe. CBD is not considered GRAS. Any food products must also follow Michigan Food Law and licensing requirements.
MDARD, despite hesitancy in the past, appears to be moving more aggressively with an industrial hemp program yet this year. It is also apparent from the bulletin that both agencies see the potential for growth of a new industry. MDARD will be working diligently to put forth a plan under the 2018 Farm Bill to the USDA when it is ready. In the meantime, their work on this bulletin and an indication of a potential licensing program yet this year in 2019 is a good sign. Both Departments are promulgating new rules which provide guidance and processes for those entering the market.