Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 0816 into Michigan law on March 24 to update the state’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act to ensure it aligns with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) final hemp rule, which went into effect on March 22.
Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), said in a press release that updating the state’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act was crucial for maintaining regulatory certainty for hemp cultivation.
Some critical updates to Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Grower’s Act, according to the press release, include:
- The hemp harvest window has increased from 15 to 30 days.
- The grower registration cycle has changed from Dec. 1 – Nov. 30 to Feb. 1 – Jan. 31. (Grower registrations already issued for the 2021 growing season will be valid until Jan. 31, 2022.)
- Growers can now remediate non-compliant hemp instead of disposing of it. (Remediated hemp still requires post-remediation sampling to make sure it is compliant with the legal THC level.)
- The negligence threshold has been raised from 0.5% to 1%. The maximum number of negligent violations a grower can receive in a calendar year has been limited to one.
- All laboratories testing industrial hemp must be registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This will go into effect on Dec. 31, 2022.
In its final rule on hemp, the USDA modified sampling provisions allowing states to develop performance-based sampling requirements. This added flexibility lets the MDARD consider variables such as seed certification, grower compliance and variety performance when developing its sampling plan.
Additional information about the bill can be found here.