Michigan sets testing rules for first industrial hemp crop

Adrian Cable / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN
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LANSING (WJRT) (8/15/2019) - Emergency rules have been issued for Michigan's first industrial hemp crop.

Hemp is a strain of cannabis used for products like food, body care and clothing.

Michigan's new industry is currently in a pilot program. There are 541 growers across the state who planted more than 32,000 acre and nearly 400 registered handlers.

“This is an exciting next step for the growth of our newest agricultural crop, and with harvest coming up, we needed to provide clear direction for Michigan’s industrial hemp growers,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell.

Hemp growth in Michigan is governed by the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act

The new rules that took effect Thursday set testing standards, making sure the amount of THC in hemp is no higher that 0.03 percent. The rules are in place for six months and can be extended for an additional six months.

Michigan's rules are temporary while state regulators await action from the U.S. Department of Agriculture before forming a long-term hemp production strategy.

“With these rules in place for six months, we have time for our growers to move forward while we wait for federal standards,” McDowell said.