When Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency becomes the Cannabis Regulatory Agency on April 13 and begins its oversight of CBD, not much will change right away. But that doesn’t mean there’s no change coming.
Stricter testing and licensing is likely on the horizon for makers and sellers of CBD, the product that doesn’t induce a high like plain old marijuana, but comes from the same plant: cannabis.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order in February making the name change and instructing the CRA to regulate not just marijuana growing, processing and sales as it does now, but also processing, distributing and selling of hemp products like CBD.
Right now hemp growing and processing are regulated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. MDARD will continue oversight of hemp cultivation.
Hemp, a cannabis plant variety, can be used to create CBD, or cannabidiol, a chemical compound used for various purported health benefits. It doesn’t contain substantial amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. The federally-legal limit for THC in CBD products is 0.3 percent.
“In the short term, nothing will change,” said Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the MRA. “The current administration of the licensing program for (hemp) processor handlers … will just shift from MDARD over to our agency. We’ll move that and continue the same processes with no changes planned.”
For the future, though, the MRA and state agriculture department are evaluating how hemp processing should be regulated. They’ll be determining how to license businesses using hemp “post-harvest,” like people who sell CBD oils and gummies, for example.