Michigan Offers Guidance on CBD and Industrial Hemp March 29, 2019 – The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) and the Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) issued joint guidance If you currently sell CBD products or are interested in selling CBD products, call the CBD and MMJ Attorneys at Scott F. Roberts Law today for a free business consultation. If you are a resident of Michigan looking for the most up to date information around CBD and how to obtain it, then you have come to the right place!
Michigan Offers Guidance on CBD and Industrial Hemp
March 29, 2019 – The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) and the Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) issued joint guidance today regarding CBD (cannabidiol) and industrial hemp.
From the Marijuana Regulatory Agency:
- CBD products produced from marijuana will not be regulated as marijuana if the THC content is below 0.3%.
- Edible marijuana products containing CBD made by licensed processors may only be produced using CBD obtained from regulated sources. Currently, these regulated sources include state of Michigan licensed growers or processors under the MMFLA.
- MRA is in the process of writing administrative rules under the MMFLA and MRTMA to determine the methods for industrial hemp grown under the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act to be transferred to licensed marijuana facilities. Until the administrative rules are written, there is no authorized method for licensed facilities to obtain industrial hemp.
- Only facilities licensed by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) under the MMFLA can commercially grow, process, and sell marijuana and marijuana products.
- MRA does not regulate marijuana or marijuana products grown or produced by registered qualifying patients or designated primary caregivers under the MMMA or individuals over 21 for personal use under the MRTMA.
From the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development:
- Any product derived from industrial hemp with a THC concentration above 0.3% is classified as marijuana and regulated under the laws that apply to those products through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
- Products derived from industrial hemp, including CBD oil, fall under several different categories. Any substances that will be added to food or drink or marketed as dietary supplements must first be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for that intended use. At this time, the FDA has not approved CBD for use in food or drink or as a dietary supplement. Therefore, it’s currently illegal to add CBD into food products or drinks or sell it as dietary supplements.
- GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) is a list of substances that the FDA considers safe to add to food. Hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil are considered GRAS, as of 12/20/18. CBD is currently not considered GRAS, as of 3/29/19. In Michigan, any food production falls under the Michigan Food Law and the licensing requirements within the law.
- Growing industrial hemp will require a license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). MDARD is in the process of developing a licensing program for growers to meet the requirements of both state and federal laws to allow interstate commerce of the plants.
- Marihuana (legal term) or Marijuana (common term): the plant Cannabis sativa L. with delta-9-THC concentrations above 0.3%. Includes products made from the marijuana plant, but excludes stalks, products made from the stalks, and some products made from seeds.
- Industrial Hemp: the plant Cannabis sativa L. with delta-9-THC concentrations below 0.3%. Includes products made from the industrial hemp plant.
- CBD (Cannabidiol): a substance derived from cannabis plants that does not have psychoactive effects.
Questions regarding marijuana should be directed to MRA:
Questions regarding industrial hemp should be directed to MDARD:
Is CBD Legal in Michigan?
Due to legal and regulatory changes in the industry, including the 2018 Farm Bill and recent changes in the implementation of Michigan’s 2014 Industrial Hemp Research Act, the information contained in this Article may no longer be accurate. Please contact an attorney before relying on any information contained in this Article. For more information on cultivating hemp, or the Hemp Pilot Program in Michigan, check out our recent article .
As we discussed in our last article, CBD: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back , LARA, the state’s licensing agency, has announced that it considers CBD to be subject to the same regulations as other Marijuana derived products. During a recent LARA Live webcast featuring Andrew Brisbo, the LARA Director of Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, Mr. Brisbo danced around the questions of whether all CBD products are now regulated the same as other marijuana derivatives, like distillate.
The first question asked to Mr. Brisbo was essentially “what gives you the right to do this without any legislation?” His response was that CBD is a derivative of the cannabis sativa plant, and that CBD would now be included in this definition, even if produced from a hemp plant with little to no THC. He said that the federal definition of Marijuana, which finds that cannabis sativa with less than 0.3% THC is not considered regulated Marijuana, is only incorporated into the Michigan’s hemp laws but not its marijuana laws. For its marijuana laws, there is no “THC qualifier”, so in Michigan, any derivative of the cannabis sativa plant other than from sterilized seeds, oil from seeds, and mature stalks is considered a controlled substance.
Confused yet? Here is what he was really saying: CBD derived from cannabis sativa is regulated the same as Marijuana. What he didn’t mention, and what you needed to read between the lines to catch, is that under this definition, CBD derived from the mature stalks or sterilized seeds is legal in Michigan and not subject to the state’s Marijuana laws . This position is in line with the DEA’s position on CBD extracts.
That begs the question—how is LARA going to enforce its interpretation of the state’s Medical Marijuana laws, especially when some CBD products are legal and other almost identical products are not?
Unlike certain other departments, such as the Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Officers, there is no “LARA police” to enforce the CBD ban. While LARA does have inspectors and examiners, as well as an enforcement division, this division is focused on investigating complaints on licensees and licensed establishments. LARA’s power in this way is limited. Similar to the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, there is a Liquor Control Commission within LARA that regulates the sale of alcohol. One of LARA’s primary enforcement tool for enforcing liquor laws is the revocation, suspension or of that person’s liquor license. However, the Liquor Control Commission relies on other law enforcement activities to prevent or control the sale of alcohol by unlicensed individuals. In other words, for activities that fall outside this focus, LARA requires the help and assistance of state or local law enforcement.
The bottom line is that if you are a medical marijuana business licensee under LARA, LARA could use its power over licenses and licensees to enforce its CBD ban against you or your company. But this also means that if you do not hold any licenses regulated by LARA, there is currently not much LARA can do at this point.
In his LARA live interview, Mr. Brisbo even said that “when it comes to enforcement of unlicensed activity, that’s really a law enforcement function.” Given that state and local police have yet to show any interest in going after CBD sellers or buyers, that CBD is by all accounts a very popular medicine and treatment, and that prosecutors would need to prove that the CBD was illegally derived in each case, a statewide crackdown is unlikely anytime soon. And a crackdown right before an important and contentious state election in 2018, at least on the state level, seems virtually impossible.
So if this ban has little to no teeth, why did Mr. Brisbo even bother with it? I can see three reasons. First, a recent case governing the federal interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act found that CBD was covered by the Act. Mr. Brisbo is announcing to the public that he reads Michigan’s laws restricting Marijuana, as well as the state’s legal definition of marihuana in the Public Health Code, as including CBD. While he lacks the power and political will to enforce this position at the moment—or as his interviewer stated in LARA Live—“this isn’t the law enforcement ‘time’”—that will likely change unless action is taken to change Michigan’s current marijuana laws.
Second, he is concerned with the unregulated nature of the CBD market and thinks state government should have the power to step in to protect consumers. He mentioned these concerns recently at the Cannacon conference in Detroit, and he may have a point.
The final reason? To help MMFLA licensees! While the reaction from the Michigan Cannabis industry to the CBD ban was visceral, I actually see it at as Mr. Brisbo throwing Michigan MMJ companies a bone. Essentially, the ultimate effect of the ban will be to prevent stores and individuals not licensed under the MMFLA or MMMA from selling CBD. This means that, absent caregivers, dispensaries would be the only place to buy legal weed AND legal CBD. With the market for CBD growing in popularity seemingly by the month, this guidance could have a big effect on licensees down the road—for better or for worse.
If you currently sell CBD products or are interested in selling CBD products, call the CBD and MMJ Attorneys at Scott F. Roberts Law today for a free business consultation.
CBD Oil In Michigan: The Complete Buyers Guide
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Residents of Michigan haven’t had the smoothest ride when it comes to marijuana. Before the passing of Proposal 1 in November 2018 (which legalized the recreational use of cannabis in the state), some strict laws were in place compared to most other places in America. Furthermore, Michigan has a complicated history of cannabis legislation. Unfortunately, this has left many residents unsure of what is – and isn’t – legal.
That said, the state has come a long way regarding the legalities around the MMJ. This is no doubt great news for thousands of suffering individuals.
If you are a resident of Michigan looking for the most up-to-date information around CBD and how to obtain it, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we discuss what CBD (cannabidiol) is, how it works, and where to get it if you’re a resident of the Great Lake State.
CBD: The Non-Intoxicating Cannabinoid
There are well over a hundred different cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. It is understood that CBD is the non-intoxicating relative of THC. CBD is also one of the most useful cannabinoids in terms of pain relief and other forms of medicinal therapy.
Unlike other studied cannabinoids, CBD will not produce a “high” in the user. This makes it appealing to most patients. This is also why CBD has become sought after as a treatment for so many enervating conditions. CBD potentially has many positive attributes, including the following properties:
- Muscle relaxant
- Relieves pain
However, the stigma surrounding the cannabis plant means we need evidence that not all compounds produced by the plant cause the same results. This rings especially true since most people associate cannabis with the well-known THC high.
What Does This All Mean?
Researchers have made groundbreaking findings regarding CBD’s effects. Some of these publications have documented positive results on the symptoms of:
- Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBD/IBS/Crohn’s Disease)
There are many more documented conditions and clinical studies where CBD was used as a viable therapeutic option. The scale and variety of diseases highlight how versatile a treatment CBD potentially is. Moreover, it is 100% natural with minimal side effects!
Is CBD Oil Legal in Michigan?
If you are a Michigan resident, you can obtain an MMJ card after getting a recommendation from a licensed physician. However, recreational cannabis is also legal in the state if you’re aged 21+.
Therefore, one would imagine that finding high-quality CBD oil in Michigan is easy and legal. You’re right for making this assumption. Purchasing CBD oil derived from hemp with a maximum of 0.3% THC in Michigan is legal and extremely simple. If you don’t find a dispensary or CBD store you like, countless online vendors ship to the state.
Recreational cannabis is legal for adults in Michigan, so it follows that CBD products are permitted, too.
Michigan was one of the first U.S. states to implement a medical marijuana program in 2008. However, the old laws made dispensaries illegal! As a result, retail operations could only apply for a dispensary license relatively recently.
In 2014, President Barack Obama signed off on the Farm Bill, which encouraged the cultivation and research of industrial hemp across the nation. Since then, the state has legalized programs dedicated to industrial hemp research. This is exciting news for those interested in the effects of CBD oil.
CBD Laws in Michigan
While the presumption is that CBD is legal in Michigan, opponents of the cannabinoid have tried their best to keep it out of the state. Conversely, hemp supporters in Michigan have fought hard to ensure growing the crop, and using CBD derived from it, are legal in the state.
The 2014 Farm Bill was a step in the right direction but states still had to decide whether they wanted to proceed with their hemp programs. In Michigan, House Bill 5440 involved revising the definition of ‘marihuana’ in the state. Industrial hemp grown or cultivated for research was excluded from this definition. Governor Snyder signed it into law in January 2015.
This process also authorized industrial hemp for research by universities in the state and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. This legislation was a victory for hemp and came several years after the 2008 Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
On 6 December 2018, the state legalized recreational cannabis via The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. It took a while, but licensed dispensaries can now sell adult-use cannabis.
Interestingly, CBD didn’t technically gain full acceptance in Michigan until the implementation of the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act in January 2019. It followed the 2018 Farm Bill by legalizing the growth of industrial hemp with a maximum THC content of 0.3%.
A Needlessly Opaque Picture?
Since most hemp is used for CBD products, one might assume that cannabidiol is officially legal? Unfortunately, the answer is ‘no.’ The 2018 Farm Bill didn’t specifically legalize CBD. The state of Michigan also hasn’t officially legalized the compound. Indeed, some rules explicitly say CBD can’t be added to food or beverages. It is also against the law to market it as a dietary supplement.
Nonetheless, there is no question that Michigan residents can purchase CBD oil extracted from hemp. As long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, you should have no problems. Also, bear in mind that Michigan allows recreational marijuana use!
Yet despite all the rules that seem to point in the direction of legal CBD, lawmakers in the state have tried their hardest to make things complicated.
Several months before the legalization of cannabis in the state, on May 11, 2018, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) frightened CBD sellers. It published an Advisory Bulletin that adopted a hard-hitting stance on all forms of CBD oil sold in the state.
The Bulletin declared that LARA would treat CBD oil (including “legal” products extracted from low-THC hemp) as any other form of cannabis. As such, the sale, use, and possession of the compound would be subject to the same criminal penalties as any other form of marijuana.
One Michigan law firm even recommended that businesses immediately remove all CBD products from their shelves. Instead, it advised them to wait and see if the new recreational marijuana bill passed. Fortunately for CBD sellers, it did.
However, upon further investigation, the statements made by LARA regarding CBD laws in Michigan were little more than fearmongering. One law office published an in-depth essay interpreting the statements made by LARA’s Director of Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, Andrew Brisbo.
The essay speculated that the main reason for LARA’s hardline stance on CBD oil was essentially to “throw a bone” to dispensary operations in the state. The use and popularity of legal hemp-based CBD products have skyrocketed in recent years. As a result, many patients chose to avoid getting their medical marijuana licenses. Instead, they purchased CBD products from online sellers or in-state retailers.
What Was the Incentive Here?
The law firm said that LARA hoped to ‘encourage’ more individuals to apply for their MMJ card and buy from licensed dispensaries, which MMFLA licensees’ tax. More application fees and more tax from licensed dispensaries mean more money for the state.
Moreover, the law firm pointed out that LARA doesn’t enforce such a hardcore stance on CBD laws. Instead, they would require the help of local law enforcement, which has never shown “any interest in going after CBD sellers or buyers.”
[Wondering how and where to buy CBD oil in Michigan? Check out this review for a list of current manufacturers who ship to the state].
Where Can I Get CBD Oil in Michigan?
There is a huge number of CBD stores dotted throughout Michigan. Whether you live in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, or Grand Rapids, you will doubtless see dozens of shops that sell it. You’ll also likely see gas stations selling CBD; such is its popularity.
However, we recommend focusing on dedicated CBD brands that sell online. There are hundreds in operation, but the likes of Premium Jane and PureKana are among the best. No matter what, make sure you know the following information before buying any CBD products:
- Where the hemp was sourced
- The extraction method used; CO2 is best
- Detailed information on the brand, including who runs it
- Evidence of numerous positive legitimate customer reviews
- Ingredients clearly stated on the label
- Third-party testing that proves a product has minimal THC, not to mention a lack of pesticides, insecticides, solvents, and other harmful chemicals
The best CBD products in Michigan come from brands that provide clear answers to the above.
Do You Need a Medical Card for CBD Oil in Michigan?
No. Until the sale of recreational cannabis in Michigan, MMJ patients felt they had to play it safe when buying CBD. This is because they were not sure whether CBD oil in Michigan was legal. However, now that you don’t even need a medical card to buy marijuana, it is safe to say you don’t need it for CBD either.
If you are concerned about whether CBD is legal in Michigan, you should note that the Farm Bill doesn’t legalize the cannabinoid. However, it does permit the growth of industrial hemp with a maximum of 0.3% THC. Purchase CBD products that meet these criteria, and you should be fine. Also, Michigan law enforcement has no interest in arresting people for using CBD.
Again, remember, recreational cannabis is legal in the state!
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Michigan
A majority of states now legalize marijuana in some form or another. This is incredible when you stop and think about it. Until recently, Michigan residents were not sure if CBD oil was legal in their state. Even today, it isn’t set in stone. Nonetheless, the state widely tolerates CBD sale and use. Also, Michigan now permits the sale of recreational cannabis.
CBD rules across the United States are often confusing, but in Michigan, at least, you can buy CBD oil without any issues. It is a different story regarding edibles, though!
Are CBD Edibles Legal in Michigan??
It is a very confusing situation. Cannabis edibles are legal as part of the MMJ and recreational programs. However, there is a suggestion that CBD edibles are not. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency says licensed processors can sell edible cannabis products containing CBD if they use CBD from regulated sources.
However, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development goes by FDA rules. It says that the FDA must approve substances derived from industrial hemp before they are added to food or drink. At present, the FDA has NOT approved CBD for use in foods and beverages. Therefore, CBD edibles derived from hemp are technically illegal, while cannabis edibles containing CBD are not!
Are CBD Gummies Legal in Michigan??
The same rules apply to CBD gummies, which are classified as edibles. They are not federally legal because the FDA hasn’t approved them.
Can You Buy CBD Oil Legally in Michigan?
Yes. Michigan hasn’t technically legalized CBD. However, like most states, it adheres to the terms of the 2018 Farm Bill. This means industrial hemp containing a maximum of 0.3% THC is legal. As this hemp is mainly used for CBD products, most states permit CBD use even if no specific laws outline it.
Furthermore, Michigan has legalized recreational cannabis, so adults aged 21+ have nothing to fear if they buy a legal amount.
Can You Travel with CBD to Michigan?
If you travel by plane, there are some confusing laws. The TSA’s screening procedures are security-focused. If they find CBD products during their search, they may call security if they feel you’re carrying cannabis.
After an awkward Q&A session with airport security, you will probably get released but potentially miss your flight and have your CBD products confiscated. However, the TSA doesn’t specifically look for CBD, so most people who bring it with them shouldn’t have an issue.
Of course, you have to check the laws of the state you’re in before landing in Michigan too. Michigan itself allows CBD use and possession.
If you’re traveling by road, bear in mind that transporting CBD across state lines is probably legal. However, the compound isn’t federally legal, and a police officer might mistake it for a cannabis product. Again, there is little chance of law enforcement arresting you, but you have to decide if this small risk is worth bringing your CBD.