According to the Michigan Legislature’s website, the bill was approved by the governor on Dec. 28 and filed with the Secretary of State on the same day.
In a news release posted Thursday, state Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, announced that legislation that protects the use of cannabidiol or CBD oil has been signed into law.
Under this legislation, CBD oil and other products derived from hemp would not fall under Michigan Medical Marijuana regulations.
Michigan pot products recalled for mold, bacteria
“CBD oil derived from hemp doesn’t get you high,” Johnson said in a statement.
The legislation passed, Public Act 642 of 2018, clarifies that CBD oil and other products derived from hemp fall under the definition of industrial hemp, and not the definition of marijuana.
“It contains no more than 0.3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs decided last summer to start classifying it the same way they do marijuana, which contains 5 to 35 percent THC.”
Suburban cities opt out of legal weed sales
The first question asked to Mr. Brisbo was essentially “what gives you the right to do this without any legislation?” His response was that CBD is a derivative of the cannabis sativa plant, and that CBD would now be included in this definition, even if produced from a hemp plant with little to no THC. He said that the federal definition of Marijuana, which finds that cannabis sativa with less than 0.3% THC is not considered regulated Marijuana, is only incorporated into the Michigan’s hemp laws but not its marijuana laws. For its marijuana laws, there is no “THC qualifier”, so in Michigan, any derivative of the cannabis sativa plant other than from sterilized seeds, oil from seeds, and mature stalks is considered a controlled substance.
In his LARA live interview, Mr. Brisbo even said that “when it comes to enforcement of unlicensed activity, that’s really a law enforcement function.” Given that state and local police have yet to show any interest in going after CBD sellers or buyers, that CBD is by all accounts a very popular medicine and treatment, and that prosecutors would need to prove that the CBD was illegally derived in each case, a statewide crackdown is unlikely anytime soon. And a crackdown right before an important and contentious state election in 2018, at least on the state level, seems virtually impossible.
So if this ban has little to no teeth, why did Mr. Brisbo even bother with it? I can see three reasons. First, a recent case governing the federal interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act found that CBD was covered by the Act. Mr. Brisbo is announcing to the public that he reads Michigan’s laws restricting Marijuana, as well as the state’s legal definition of marihuana in the Public Health Code, as including CBD. While he lacks the power and political will to enforce this position at the moment—or as his interviewer stated in LARA Live—“this isn’t the law enforcement ‘time’”—that will likely change unless action is taken to change Michigan’s current marijuana laws.