After only three years in existence, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), will be renamed the Cannabis Regulatory Agency. In an executive order targeting both linguistic inclusivity and organizational efficiency, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is consolidating the processing, distribution, and sale of marijuana and hemp into a single state agency. Currently, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) regulates the processing, distribution, and sale of hemp, while the MRA regulated those processes for marijuana.

Effective April 13, 2022, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency will regulate the processing, distribution, and sale of both hemp and marijuana, while oversight of hemp cultivation will remain with MDARD. The merger will bring hemp processing, distribution, and sale into the regulatory structure of the larger cannabis industry in Michigan. Governor Whitmer’s goal in consolidation was to continue to grow the industry, create jobs, and “put Michiganders first by directing the large windfall of tax revenue from this new industry to make bigger, bolder investments in local schools, roads, and first responders.”

At this point, it is unclear how this realignment of oversight roles will impact those CBD suppliers and vendors whose actions until this realignment were overseen by MDARD. We do, however, expect some amendments to regulations covering both hemp and cannabis sales after the new structure is implemented. Please watch for future updates from our cannabis industry specialists as those changes are adopted and rolled out.

For more information about how cannabis and hemp products are treated under Michigan law, or to set up a free consultation, please contact a member of Rhoades McKee’s Cannabis Law Services Team.

We would be happy to discuss your potential interest in issues regarding the growth, production, and sale of marijuana and hemp/CBD in Michigan with you. However, it is important to note that marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance under Federal law, regardless of the fact that its use has been approved for medical and recreational use in Michigan. Therefore, possessing, using, distributing, and selling marijuana are all federal crimes, and this post is not intended to give you any legal advice or to lead you to believe that marijuana is legal under federal law. Please also note that even though marijuana is illegal under federal law, persons or companies generating income from its use or sale will need to pay federal taxes just as though you are a legal entity.

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