cbd oil legal michigan

CBD Oil in Michigan 2021: Updated Legal Status, Where To Buy, And More

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Like is the case with many states in America, Michigan has a somewhat confusing body of laws where marijuana is concerned. Unfortunately, this legal conundrum ropes in even the non-psychoactive CBD, which suffers from association with its infamous cousin THC. In Michigan, this guilt-by-association applies even when the CBD comes from hemp- the law makes no distinction. Users have to be careful to avoid related legal pitfalls. In other states, you ensure compliance by going for a medical card and a prescription and to buy from a state-sanctioned dispensary. Does the same case apply to Michigan? Keep reading this article on CBD oil in Michigan to get a clearer picture.

Marijuana Legal Status in Michigan

The law on marijuana in Michigan, like in all other jurisdictions in America, is a motley mix of federal, state, and local regulations which are not always in harmony. As a state that has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, Michigan attempts to make a distinction between therapeutic and recreational use of marijuana in its law.

In some jurisdictions, the implementation of the law may be curtailed by regulations about something else further down the supply chain. For example, CBD in Tennessee is legal, but it may be illegal to sell it. Qualified users, therefore, find it challenging to get a product they can use.

It is also quite usual to find a jurisdiction where the law prohibits the use or sale of marijuana, but enforcing such prohibitions are rare. Failure of enforcement is usually because the matter is low on the priority list of the authorities. In such a scenario, the user’s freedom is determined by who is setting priorities for the police. A new person may come into authority with new priorities, thus suddenly, making it difficult for users or even putting them in danger of arrest. Are there similar bottlenecks in Michigan, or is it much smoother in the state? That’s what we shall be looking at.

We shall also attempt to break down the steps Michigan has taken, over time, in crafting laws on cannabis. Further, we shall look at the practical application of these laws and how you can ensure that you are on their right side when purchasing and using marijuana.

Marijuana Law in the History of Michigan

Historically Michigan had a strict prohibition on the use of marijuana. The ban was enforced through harsh penalties because marijuana was a schedule one restricted substance at the federal level. It was a misdemeanor to have any amount of marijuana, and punishment for such possession was a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of $2000.

Cultivation and distribution were punished even more harshly. Sale or growth of cannabis attracted a sentence of 15 years in prison and $10,000,000 fine if convicted. This was the same punishment that was meted out on people who sold hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, among others.

A person who shared their marijuana for free or grew it for personal use was not spared by the law either. They were liable to incarceration for a maximum of 90 days and a fine of up to $1000 upon conviction. This punishment was similar to the one meted out on users as it was also illegal to use the drug. It is important to note that the law, at the time, made no distinction between those who used it for recreational purposes and those who used it for therapeutic purposes.

The tide on the legality of marijuana in Michigan started turning slowly, not at the state but the municipal level. Local governments began changing their attitudes towards cannabis and, accordingly, issued less and less punitive regulations for its use. While municipalities loosened restrictions, state laws still superseded municipal laws. Thus started the trend where higher and lower levels of government had marijuana laws that were at odds with each other.

Municipals liberalized their laws on weed as follows:-

Ann Arbor – 1972

Grand Rapids – 2012

Hazel Park – 2014

Pleasant Ridge- 2014

Port Huron – 2014

Mount Pleasant – 2014

Huntington Woods – 2014

East Lansing – 2015

Keego Harbor – 2015

All these municipalities made their regulations against recreational use less restrictive before the state followed suit. The state later legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults in 2018 – we shall have a more in-depth look at the new state law on recreational use of cannabis later. In the meantime, let’s look at the therapeutic use and the law.

In 2008 the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative was presented to voters as a ballot measure. It was passed with 63% of the votes cast on 6 th November.

This measure provided that seriously sick and terminally ill patients could use marijuana for the management of their symptoms. For a patient to qualify, they had to have a recommendation from a qualified physician. The initiative listed diseases that qualified to use weed legally. It also allowed patients or their caregivers to grow a limited number of plants, which would be their source. The law also established a registry of licensed users and put restrictions on public use of marijuana. The provisions of this measure have been explained in greater detail below.

Called the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the introduction of this ballot measure was based on scientific evidence that indicated the possibility of cannabis having health benefits in some cases. The law provides that a physician recommending a patient for the use of medical marijuana should provide ample documentary evidence. The evidence is intended to show a genuine doctor-patient relationship between the two. Documents should also establish beyond doubt that the patient the doctor recommends has one of the qualifying diseases. Evidence for the existence of a doctor-patient relationship is also a way to show that the doctor will keep providing care for the patient even after they start using cannabis.

Qualifying Conditions

The law spells out the specific illnesses it considers debilitating enough to qualify to use medical marijuana. They are also the diseases on which cannabis has been proven effective by science. These illnesses include: –

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV positive individuals and those who have full-blown AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Nail patella

Other conditions that are not listed may qualify a patient to use medical marijuana if they have the following symptoms or if their treatment leads to the following side effects: –

  • Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
  • Severe, chronic pain
  • Hyperemesis (severe nausea)
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms that are severe and persistent such as those experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is the body charged with the responsibility of determining whether or not a person qualifies. Once a person has been authorized, the department enters their name into the registry. It then issues them with a Registry Identification Card, which is the document the patient or their caregiver keeps to show that they are qualified.

The original legislation didn’t provide for selling cannabis, but it allowed authorized patients to grow a maximum of six plants each. These plants were to be their source, and it remained an offense to sell weed even among qualifying patients. The law also provided that the patient or caregiver could only have a maximum of 2.5 ounces of the drug on them at any particular time. It is against the law for a qualified patient to use the weed in a public place as such usage would contribute to second-hand smoke on other people.


After passing this law, the number of qualified patients increased, making it necessary for marijuana businesses to play a role in distribution. As the law stood, these businesses were illegal and without a regulatory framework. This exposed users to all manner of risks. Business operators also faced reprisals from law enforcers even when they only sold to authorized customers because the law as it stood forbid the selling of the product.

To remedy the situation, the state legislature passed three bills, all of which were signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in September 2016. These three bills allowed for the establishment of marijuana businesses and a regulatory framework for them. The regulations in these bills also provided protections for customers against rogue marijuana sellers.

Besides the 2.5 ounces of marijuana, the amendment allows users also to have what it calls ‘usable marijuana equivalents.’ This refers to products infused with cannabis such as cookies, gummies, and oils, among others. The law equates 1 ounce of marijuana to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles. They also equate it to seven grams of marijuana-infused vapor or gas, such as vape from shatter or vape oil.

If the alternative formulation is a beverage or another liquid, one ounce of dry weed is equated to 36 liquid ounces of the drink. A patient or caregiver should calculate to ensure they don’t have on them an equivalent of more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

The next category of players affected by this amendment are sellers of marijuana. This category of players evolved from caregivers. With time, as patients increased, caregivers established provision centers from which those, who for any reason, couldn’t get cannabis from their plants could get the weed they needed. Those who had extra marijuana from their plants would also take their surplus to the provision centers. The court, however, ruled that these provision centers were operating outside the law.

The amendment put in place a regulatory framework for other players in the chain of production. These include farmers, processors, laboratories, transporters, and, eventually, the provision centers. This means that these crucial players no longer operated outside of the law. It also protected users because the state could now regulate the quality of products and hygiene standards.

While all this was going on, cannabis remained illegal in the United States at the federal level. The federal law restricted anything sourced from marijuana, whether it was CBD dominant or THC dominant. Qualified marijuana users in Michigan, therefore, couldn’t take their 2.5 ounces just anywhere in the country but only to other states where marijuana was legal.

Farm Bill 2014

President Obama signed the Farm Bill – 2008. The bill legalized farming of industrial hemp and research on it and all its products. The said industrial hemp should contain 0.3% THC or less, and this made more marijuana products available for users. As a result of this legislation, Michigan put in place legal measures to enable research on industrial hemp in the state. It is, however, noteworthy that there are no separate laws for hemp products in Michigan; they are treated the same as regular cannabis products, and it is wise to be careful to follow any rules that apply.

Recreational Marijuana

Proposal 18 – 1 for the legalization of recreational marijuana was passed as a ballot measure on 6 th November 2018. The law allows the state government to regulate and tax recreational marijuana, just like it does alcohol. This law provides for possession and cultivation as follows:

  • Cannabis can only be possessed and used by adults who are above 21 years of age. It further allows individuals of the right age to : –
  • Be in possession, use, and give away to other qualified adults a maximum of two and a half ounces of marijuana. The law also allows them to purchase the same quantity of weed.
  • A person who is 21 years and above is authorized to grow up to twelve marijuana plants within their residential place. The plants shouldn’t be visible from the outside of the compound on which they are grown without the use of additional equipment such as binoculars, and the compound where it is produced should be locked.
  • It is also legal for them to have up to 10 ounces as long as only 2.5 ounces of the weed are on them at any given time. The ten ounces are to be kept in the person’s primary residence under lock and key. The law also makes it legal for a person who is qualified even to process and sell marijuana. It further allows them to manufacture related paraphernalia. It is, however, illegal, except under an exclusive license for anyone to extract marijuana resin using butane or any other flammable solvent that has a flashpoint that is below 1000 Fahrenheit.
  • While marijuana for recreation is legal, it may not be used in public places unless it is otherwise allowed. Instances, where such usage may be allowed, is in a municipality that has designated locations for public use. Failure to observe this restriction attracts a fine of $100.
  • It is illegal to possess marijuana in preschool or a K-12 institution and inside the compound of a correctional facility.
  • Employers and landlords are within their rights to prohibit their employees from using marijuana in the workplace, and landlords can restrict certain rights provided in this law.
  • This law also gives some leeway to local governments to limit the number of marijuana-related businesses within their jurisdictions, and to put in place other related restrictions.

Other powers given to municipalities include: –

    • Set the regulations for signage for marijuana businesses
    • Set the time limits within which marijuana businesses should operate
    • Designate places where marijuana may be used in public by adults and restrict access by underage people to the designated areas
    • Municipalities are also empowered to determine the penalties imposed on those who disobey regulations. These can only be civil infractions since all matters of marijuana have been decriminalized, and the maximum fine allowed is $500.
    • Citizens and interest groups in a particular municipality are allowed to petition the city to reduce the number of marijuana businesses in the town. There is no limit to how low the petition can go, and they can even petition for a total ban.

LARA is responsible for formulating and promulgating rules about the growth, processing, sale, and general management of hemp business, among others.

Do You Need a Medical Card for CBD in Michigan?

Initially, a user needed to have a permit to use CBD in Michigan. The Registry Identification Card, however, couldn’t precisely be categorized as a regular Medical Marijuana Card. A medical marijuana card is used to enable the user to access marijuana in an authorized dispensary. In Michigan, there were no dispensaries, as every patient grows their weed. Provision Centers are also run and stocked by licensed users and caregivers, and the licensed user, therefore, only needs to be known in the circle to get cannabis from provision centers.

The need for unique identification has further reduced by the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults over 21. The legalization means that virtually any adult in Michigan can grow marijuana solely for enjoyment. Any of the people who are qualified to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes can buy it over the counter.

This, of course, is unless the patient is below 21, which is the legal minimum age for recreational marijuana use. This is an improbable scenario since, below 21 years, there are only 20-year-olds before teenage. Research has shown that marijuana has a permanent effect on the mental health of teenagers. It means, therefore, that a teenager can only be prescribed to use marijuana if there is no alternative. If it has proven necessary for them to use medical marijuana, they’d need to have their permit as proof of authorization.

Michigan has a somewhat confusing body of laws where marijuana is concerned. Keep reading this article on CBD oil in Michigan to get a clearer picture.

Is CBD oil legal in Michigan?

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  1. What is CBD?
  2. Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
  3. Michigan CBD laws
  4. Where to buy CBD in Michigan
  5. How to read CBD labels and packaging

Hemp and CBD derived from hemp became formally legalized with the enactment of the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act in January 2019.

Cannabis became legal for medical purposes in 2008 under the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. Michigan also legalized cannabis for adult use in November 2018 under The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. CBD derived from cannabis is legal for all Michigan residents, although it is subject to regulations.

The office of Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs recently released guidelines for CBD products.

What is CBD?

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and the second-most prominent in the plant after THC, which is mostly responsible for producing an intoxicating high. CBD can be sourced either from marijuana or hemp plants and has a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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To date, researchers have identified a number of potential applications linked to CBD, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure properties. Further, the chemical has shown promise in treating numerous health conditions, including seizure disorders, mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis, chronic pain, and many more.

Most raw cannabis strains on the market today contain small amounts of CBD, especially compared with THC. But since the cannabinoid has gained considerable attention for its wide range of purported therapeutic benefits, more high-CBD strains have recently been cultivated.

Why is CBD sometimes illegal?

All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule 1, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

The 2018 Farm Bill re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, as long as it has been cultivated according to federal and state regulations.

The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive.

The FDA has declared that even hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement. Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of its stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its position against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.

In addition to the federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently, even before the FDA finalizes its policies.

Michigan CBD laws

CBD derived from hemp became formally legalized In January 2019 following the enactment of the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act. The act defines industrial hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC concentration by dry weight, in compliance with the federal definition, and legalizes hemp-derived CBD and CBD products.

To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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This legislation also established a state licensing program through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for industrial hemp growers, processors, and handlers. However, Michigan’s proposed licensing program has yet to be approved by the USDA. In the meantime, those who wish to grow, process or handle hemp must participate in Michigan’s existing Industrial Hemp Ag-Pilot Program for the 2020 growing season to meet state and federal expectations.

While hemp-derived CBD is legal in the state of Michigan, CBD may not be used in food or beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. These regulations are in line with FDA directives. The state, however, recently issued a resolution urging the USDA to clarify their stance on industrial hemp, recognize its value as an agricultural commodity, and remove barriers that hinder commercial hemp production.

CBD derived from cannabis is also legal in Michigan for all residents. Cannabis became legal for medical purposes in 2008 under the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. Michigan also legalized cannabis for individuals 21 or older in November 2018 under The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act.

According to guidelines recently released by Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, CBD products produced from marijuana will not be regulated as marijuana if the THC content is below 0.3%. Products derived from industrial hemp with a THC concentration above 0.3% are classified as marijuana and regulated under the laws that apply to those products through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Only facilities licensed by the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation (BMR) can commercially grow, process, and sell marijuana and marijuana products, such as cannabis-derived CBD. The commerce of recreational cannabis was enacted in December 2019.

Licensing requirements for CBD

Under Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Ag-Pilot Program, interested parties will be able to apply for either a grower license or a processor/handler license. Growers who also wish to sell industrial hemp will need to apply for a processor/handler license. Applicants cannot have any felony drug convictions in the past ten years.

All applications must also include the following:

  • Maps for all locations where industrial hemp will be grown, handled, stored, processed, brokered, or marketed;
  • A check or money order made payable to the State of Michigan for all applicable licensing and registration fees (The fee for growers is set at $100, while the fee for processor/handlers is $1350);
  • A printed copy of a criminal background check processed through the Michigan State Police Internet Criminal History Access Tool (iCHAT).

Under current legislation, growers must submit samples of their industrial hemp harvest for testing. If the crop tests above 0.3% THC concentration, the grower may elect to test the crop an additional two times. If, after three tests, the harvest still shows THC levels in excess of 0.3% concentration, the crop will be confiscated and destroyed.

Submitting falsified samples for testing is considered a felony, which carries a penalty of between one and two years in prison and a $5000 fine.

Michigan CBD possession limits

There are no possession limits for CBD derived from hemp.

While there are no specified limits for CBD derived from cannabis, there are limits for cannabis possession. First-time offenders in possession of more than 2.5 ounces and up to 5 ounces may be charged with a civil infraction and fined up to $500. First-time offenders in possession of more than five ounces may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500.

Where to buy CBD in Michigan

Michigan consumers can purchase hemp-derived CBD products from CBD-specific stores and health shops. Cannabis-derived CBD can be found in licensed retailers. When purchasing from a storefront, particularly if the store specializes in CBD, you can receive guidance from an employee. Explain what you’re looking for, your reasons for consuming CBD, and they can point you in the right direction.

Michigan consumers can purchase hemp-derived CBD products from CBD-specific stores and health shops. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Hemp-derived CBD can also be purchased online, usually through specific brands’ websites. You can also find verified CBD brands on Weedmaps. Reputable brands will generally provide you with essential product details, including the form of the CBD (such as oil, capsules, topicals, tinctures, etc.), the quantity of CBD the product contains, the other chemicals or ingredients present in the product, and more.

How to read CBD labels and packaging

The 2018 Farm Bill shifted the oversight of hemp and hemp-derived products from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA does not presently allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t yet provided regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.

Still, the agency warns that regulations in flux still require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Buyers should nonetheless approach CBD products with caution. A CBD product should clearly state what kind of CBD is used.

Full-spectrum CBD oil means the extract contains cannabis-derived terpenes and trace amounts of cannabinoids such as THC. Broad-spectrum also includes other cannabis compounds but has had THC removed during the processing phase. CBD isolate is a pure crystalline powder containing only CBD.

Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:

  • Amount of active CBD per serving.
  • Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
  • Net weight.
  • Manufacturer or distributor name.
  • Suggested use.
  • Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
  • Batch or date code.

Is CBD oil legal in Michigan? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Michigan CBD laws Where to