Gov. Whitmer signs legislation regulating marijuana

On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that protects the public health and safety of Michigan residents by regulating the intoxicating substance delta-8 THC derivative that is currently being sold – untested and unregulated – in convenience stores, gas stores, and tobacco/smoke shops throughout the state.

Starting on October 11, 2021, these products – which were available for sale to individuals of all ages by businesses that cannot currently sell licensed adult-use or medical marijuana products – will be covered by state law and regulated by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).

This package of bills also updates definitions regarding products derived from the cannabis plant so that all intoxicating substances will be safety-tested through the MRA’s statewide monitoring system and will tracked through the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system.

“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,” said Whitmer. “I am glad to see Michigan continuing to lead on the implementation and regulation of a safe, secure marijuana industry, which has already brought tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue to the state, as well as thousands of well-paying jobs.”

“The team at the MRA has always been committed to transparency and forward thinking and this was once again the case regarding delta-8,” said MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo. “We were proud to work with legislators and industry stakeholders to pro-actively address this issue and move an untested, unlicensed intoxicating synthetic product into our licensed and regulated system.”

“The voters of Michigan chose to legalize and regulate marijuana in the interests of justice and public health,” said Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor. “We know that banning these substances is not the best way to keep the public safe. But we also know that these psychoactive compounds are currently being sold with no public health standards to anyone, regardless of age. Instead of allowing these new hemp derivatives like Delta 8 to circumvent our world-class regulated system, this new law will apply the same rigorous testing and commercial standards that currently protect consumer safety in the legal marijuana marketplace.”

“I appreciate the support of Gov. Whitmer and my legislative partner Representative Rabhi in helping Michigan take an important step in streamlining regulations for the safety of cannabis businesses and people around our state,” said Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Twp. “By mirroring Michigan’s existing liquor dram shop law and clearly defining the requirements for a proper injury lawsuit, we are bringing clarity to a previously murky area of our cannabis laws. I am extremely excited to see the Governor not only sign these bills, but also sign bills to protect Michigander’s from unregulated and untested Delta-8 hemp products. This legislation does the right thing by taking these products out of the unregulated marketplace and bringing them under the purview of a well-functioning Marijuana Regulatory Agency.”

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer’s decision to sign this package of bills into law,” said Robin Schneider, Executive Director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. “Regulating Delta 8 rather than banning the product is a smart and progressive move that is in the best interest of public health and safety. We are grateful that medical marijuana patients will have improved access to their certifying physicians and that state licensed cannabis businesses will have clearer standards and improved liability insurance coverage.” 

“The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, the hemp industry’s national advocacy organization, applauds Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders for developing a sound, common-sense approach to regulating delta-8 THC products that will not only serve Michigan residents well, but will also provide a model for the nation,” said Jonathan Miller, general counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. “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. This is a win-win for Michigan farmers and consumers; we hope other states follow Michigan’s lead.” 

House Bill 4745 will allow telemedicine for Michigan residents participating in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program, a state registry program that administers the MMMA as approved by Michigan voters on November 4, 2008.

“I’m thrilled that medical marijuana patients now have access to telemedicine, just like the rest of Michigan’s medical patients do,” said Whitmer. “This package of bills makes a huge difference in the lives of those who rely on the medical properties of marijuana.”

HB 4745 was sponsored by Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Twp.

House Bill 4517 amends the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act to:

• Define “THC” and modify the definitions of “industrial hemp” and “marihuana”

• Require the MRA to promulgate a limit on the total amount of THC that a product intended for human or animal consumption could contain

• Allow the MRA to promulgate rules to exclude from the definition of THC a tetrahydrocannabinol if the MRA determined, based on specified factors, that it did not have a potential for abuse
HB 4517 was sponsored by Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor.

House Bill 4740 amends the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act to modify the definitions of “industrial hemp,” “marihuana,” and “marihuana-infused product.”

HB 4740 was sponsored by Rep. Pat Outman, R-Six Lakes.

House Bill 4741 amends the Industrial Hemp Growers Act to modify the definitions of “industrial hemp” and “marihuana,” and defined “THC.”

HB 4741 was sponsored by Rep. TC Clements, R-Temperance.

House Bill 4742 amends the Marihuana Tracking Act to modify the definition of “marihuana.”

HB 4742 was sponsored by Rep. Tenisha Yancey, D-Grosse Pointe.

House Bill 4743 amends the Public Health Code to modify the definitions of “marihuana” and “industrial hemp.”

HB 4743 was sponsored by Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland.

House Bill 4744 amends the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act to modify the definitions of “industrial hemp” and “THC.”

HB 4744 was sponsored by Rep. Richard Steenland, D-Roseville.

House Bill 4746 amends the Michigan Liquor Control Code to modify the definition of “marihuana.”

HB 4746 was sponsored by Rep. Roger Hauck, R-Mt. Pleasant.

The MRA has created a one-page document with information about delta-8 and has made it available on their website at www.michigan.gov/mra.


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