Michigan changes course on hemp-derived THC

Michigan is backing off a plan to allow hemp-derived THC products to be sold alongside marijuana products after the state’s MJ industry complained it could not compete with lower-cost hemp THC.

Michigan regulators withdrew the proposal Friday after complaints about “safety concerns and the lack of scientific and public health data related to the conversion process,” according to a statement provided to MLive.com.

An attorney for the Cannabis Business Association of Michigan, a trade association for marijuana operators, said that Michigan MJ companies could not have competed with out-of-state hemp operators making lower-cost THC products.

“Of course, there’s a business component to it,” attorney Denise Policella told MLive.com about the group’s opposition.

She argued that Michigan marijuana companies could not have competed with out-of-state hemp operators making lower-cost THC products.

“The industrial hemp portion of this was never going to come from Michigan,” she said.

“Michigan can’t compete with Kentucky and North Carolina on hemp. They’ve got a year-round growing season that we don’t have. They have 100,000-acre hemp farms that we don’t have in Michigan.”

She also rose safety concerns about THC conversion from hemp.

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Michigan passed a law in 2021 that banned delta-8 THC from unlicensed retail stores but left the door open for the isomer to be sold in adult-use marijuana dispensaries.

The withdrawal last week by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, which oversees both marijuana and hemp products, means that any delta-8 THC sold in Michigan must be converted from delta-9 THC more commonly found in MJ plants.