hemp will be synthetically converted to THC, the high-inducing compound used in marijuana, according to Michigan regulators on Friday, April 15th.
After receiving a substantial amount of public input on safety concerns and the absence of scientific and public health information about the proposed industrial hemp policies, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has decided to withdraw this request for rulemaking.
The decision comes two days after the marijuana licensing body was renamed from the Marijuana Regulatory Agency and assumed authority over hemp-derived products.
According to the cannabis attorney, the hemp conversion process creates unknown byproduct compounds that might be harmful to consumers. The Cannabis Business Association of Michigan, a commercial organization formed of marijuana retailers, processors, and distributors, has fought against hemp conversion regulations.
Policella said: "Of course, there's a business component to it."
A marijuana license has been given the authority to extract THC oil from hemp plants. She believes that making hemp plants transform into oils that produce the same effect would leave them out of business.
According to Policella, the beneficiary would not be small-scale hemp farmers; instead, businesses that convert low-cost, out-of-state hemp for sale in the Michigan marijuana market.
The industrial hemp portion of this was never going to come from Michigan, she said. Michigan cant compete with Kentucky and North Carolina on hemp. Theyve 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.
Hemp and marijuana are the same form: cannabis. Except the government defines hemp as cannabis with less than 0.8 percent THC, the psychoactive substance used in marijuana at significantly greater levels. Hemp had been regulated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and marijuana by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
In February, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that required the renaming of the MRA and granting it authority over hemp processing for commercial sale. MDARD maintains surveillance of hemp farming.
Cannabis farming licenses are relatively inexpensive, although they require little oversight.
Hemp has traditionally been known as CBD, a cannabidiol, which is also commonly referred to as CBD, and is commonly used as a cleaning tool for anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain; but also as a livestock feed grain, materials, and an alternative to plastics and even building materials, according to David Crabill, the president of the hemp farming business group.
In recent years, the use of synthetic technology to other high-inducing compounds has gained widespread popularity.
More on MLive: