Lawmakers in Michigan Working on CBD Oil Regulations

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Lawmakers in Michigan recently signed a bill into law which protects users of cannabidiol (CBD) oil in the state. The Public Act 642 of 2018 classifies CBD oil and other similar products as industrial hemp, not cannabis which is illegal. CBD is derived from hemp, a cousin plant of marijuana. The compound does not get you high.

The decision by lawmakers to change the status of CBD oil came following its classification as marijuana. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) decided to classify CBD and marijuana in the same category last summer. The decision led to protests by many CBD users who say the compound does not contain any THC and should not be placed in the same category.

Michigan state Rep. Steve Johnson, who sponsored Public Act 642, said people do not need medicinal cannabis cards to legally buy CBD products in the state.

“CBD oil derived from hemp doesn’t get you high,” Johnson said. “It contains no more than 0.3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol or (THC). But the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs decided last summer to start classifying it the same way they do marijuana, which contains 5 to 35 percent THC.”

The debate about the legality of CBD is still ongoing. Farmers in the US can now grow industrial hemp after President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law last year. Despite this, the developing CBD industry is still facing some legal challenges. In most US states, CBD is still identified or treated as marijuana which is a Schedule 1 drug. Michigan is one of many states looking to clarify the wording on laws relating to CBD products.

“This seems to be an example of the legislature clearing up some confusion that led to a misinformed decision by regulators and is exactly how things should work with legal products,” Morgan Fox. Director of Media Relations at NCIA, said.

Lawmakers in Michigan are also looking to create a legal framework which will permit the farming of hemp in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is in charge of regulating the growing of hemp. The agricultural department is reportedly working on registering hemp farmers in accordance with federal law. According to reports, LARA is in charge of regulating and licensing CBD oil in the state.

LARA is yet to announce how exactly CBD oil should be regulated. The department is still studying different legal definitions in the laws of the state to decide how to go about regulating products that contain CBD oil. LARA has reportedly removed all online materials that refer to CBD oil from its website. The LARA site did not also include HB 6331 in it legal press updates.

Lawmakers say there still needs to be some clarification of Michigan’s laws to regulate CBD and the farming of industrial hemp.

“I think we’re going to make some changes in Michigan to accommodate the Farm Bill,” Johnson said.

Patients and CBD enthusiasts in Michigan are excited about the change in classification. However, there is a recognition that there is still a long way to go before CBD gets the support from the state it deserves.

“CBD and other cannabinoids extracted from the plant are not criminalized anymore but would be subject to FDA regulations,” said Michael Komorn, lawyer and president of Michigan Medical Marijuana Association.

The new law came into effect on Jan. 15th. However Michigan authorities have not begun issuing hemp licenses or registrations. The USDA has to approve the state program before the licenses and registrations for hemp farms are issued.