Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation regulating the intoxicating cannabinoid delta-8 THC.
Untested items containing the substance have been sold widely across the state – including in convenience stores and gas stations.
Delta-8 THC has really taken off in the USA as a result of perceived loopholes in federal and state laws. Delta-8 can be manufactured by manipulating hemp-derived cannabidiol – and hemp is a legal crop at a federal level. The federal government’s definition of hemp only makes reference to delta-9 THC levels; leaving the path open for other THC variants to be developed and exploited.
But starting October 11, products containing delta-8 THC will be covered by Michigan state law and regulated by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
“This package of bills continues to show Michigan is the model for the nation in regard to protecting its residents and making sure that those who consume marijuana products do so in a safe manner,” stated Governor Whitmer.
Her signing was welcomed by various parties including General Counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, Jonathan Miller. When delta-8 THC products began to ramp up, the Roundtable called for significant regulatory distance between the compound and hemp, and said cannabis that can intoxicate shouldn’t be marketed as hemp.
“House Bill 4517 ensures that intoxicating products are not sold at retail stores, under the guise of hemp; rather that they are regulated akin to adult-use cannabis, restricted to adults and monitored for safety and potency,” said Mr. Miller. “This is a win-win for Michigan farmers and consumers; we hope other states follow Michigan’s lead.”
Among other things, House Bill 4517 amends the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act to define THC and modify the definitions of “industrial hemp” and “marihuana”. House Bill 4740 amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act to modify the definitions of “industrial hemp”, “marihuana”, and “marihuana-infused product.”
Among other states to recently tighten up on delta-8 THC is Connecticut, which recently closed loopholes enabling delta-8 and other THC variant products derived from hemp to be sold outside of appropriately licensed premises.