Industrial hemp is a member of the cannabis family, with levels of the psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that are below 0.3%. Industrial hemp is grown for fiber, seed and oil which can then be turned into many other products.
The 2018 federal Farm Bill authorized the commercial production and processing of industrial hemp, but each state must have an approved plan in place before commercial production is allowed. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of implementing a national program with the intent to release it this fall and then Michigan will be able to submit their state plan for approval which would allow for full-scale commercial production in 2020. However, there is more legislation that needs to be passed in Michigan to put the state plan in compliance with USDA.
In the meantime, Michigan is utilizing authority in the 2014 Farm Bill for an Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program, which permits an institute of higher learning or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to grow industrial hemp for research purposes as part of an agricultural pilot program. The pilot program allows for the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp in 2019.
To grow hemp, you must submit an application and a $100 registration fee to MDARD. If you wish to process, handle, broker, or market industrial hemp in Michigan you must submit an application and a $1,350 application fee. Prior to harvest, growers must submit a sample of the crop to a testing facility, which would have to measure the THC concentration. If it is above 0.3% the crop cannot be harvested and must be destroyed.
Contact: Theresa Sisung | 517-323-6729
MFB #15 Industrial Hemp
AFBF #204 Industrial Hemp
MDARD Industrial Hemp Information
USDA NIFA Industrial Hemp Information