Cannabidiol or CBD oil is a substance typically made from hemp, which many people believe has various medicinal and therapeutic properties. While it does contain a very small amount of THC, it is not intended to provide a “high” to the people who use it. Because of its low THC levels, there has been disagreement over any cannabis products being treated the same, including CBD oil. However, recent changes in the law mean that CBD oil is no longer regarded to be marijuana under Michigan law. This means that CBD oil and other products derived from hemp are no longer regulated under Michigan Medical Marijuana regulations. A medical marijuana card isn’t required to purchase CBD oil, but can a business sell CBD oil?
Changes in the Law
Previously, CBD oil in Michigan was regulated under the same rules as medical marijuana. In 2018, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) said that CBD oil could be sold to medical marijuana patients as long as it was derived from marijuana and not hemp. Hemp growth was approved for research purposes from 2014.
A change to federal law now means that CBD oil is no longer regarded to be marijuana. The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill says that the cannabis sativa L. plant that has less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight is hemp. This means that CBD oil, which contains less than 0.3 percent THC, is regarded by the federal government to not be marijuana. However, in Michigan, state officials have yet to determine how CBD oil will be regulated.
Michael Komorn, a lawyer and president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association said, “CBD and other cannabinoids extracted from the plant are not criminalized anymore but would be subject to FDA regulations.”
State Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, sponsored a law to change CBD oil being regarded as marijuana, which would mean that it is instead seen as hemp in Michigan, and will take effect in March. This law is a companion to House Bill 6330, which creates a framework for a hemp farming program in Michigan.
The 2018 Farm Bill requires that states put procedures and policies in place to ensure:
- A record of where hemp is grown and produced
- Hemp produced in the state meets the legal definition of 0.3% THC or lower
- Procedures for disposing of anything with a THC concentration of more than 0.3%
- Procedures for handling violations of the 2018 Farm Bill and the proposed state plan
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is responsible for creating this framework. It is the department’s responsibility to establish, operate and administer an industrial hemp licensing program, among other things.
CBD Hemp Oil
If CBD hemp oil has undetectable levels of THC, some say that it is legal to buy or sell in Michigan. However, when measured against the statements from LARA, this isn’t strictly the case currently. If all CBD oil is treated the same as any other form of cannabis, it isn’t legal for any business to sell if they don’t have a valid license. On the other hand, some have said that LARA doesn’t have the power to enforce their stance. They would need local law enforcement to back them up, and law enforcement has shown little interest in pursuing CBD sellers or buyers. If a CBD seller were to be detained, LARA would have to show that their products had been illegally derived.
While this might mean that individual buyers of CBD oil don’t stand much chance of prosecution, sellers might want to be more careful until the change in law has made the situation clearer. The new state regulation became official on January 15, 2019 but registrations and state licensing cannot be issued until the state program is approved by the USDA. The USDA has 60 days after submittal for review and approval.
Currently, the legal status of CBD oil for sellers isn’t clear. Some will say that it’s necessary to have a license to sell marijuana products to sell CBD oil, while others might suggest that the law is unclear. However, it’s best to wait until the new legislation has come into effect if you are a retailer intending to sell CBD oil without a commercial marijuana business license. If you do have a license to sell marijuana products, it CBD oil could be another product that you add to your existing items.
For advice on cannabis and hemp products and their retail, make sure you have the right legal advice.