Industrial Hemp Research

Asked February 9, 2019, 10:15 PM EST

What information has been discovered about industrial hemp and how can it benefit the state of Michigan? Where can I find sources or references for information on the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp?

Monroe County Michigan hemp hemp production

1 Response

Thank you for your question.

MSU is developing an introductory bulletin about growing industrial hemp in Michigan. Our goal is to have this completed in the next few weeks. References to additional resources will also be provided. In the meantime, you may wish to check out the publication, “Growing Industrial Hemp in Ontario”. (http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-067.htm) This site lists many of the benefits. Note that while other states, e.g. Kentucky, have publication on growing industrial hemp, Ontario’s soils, climate, and day length are more similar to Michigan.

Also, please be aware that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is actively working on the required state industrial hemp plan. Though the state industrial hemp licensing law came into effect on January 15, 2019, the State is prohibited by federal law from issuing registrations or licenses created by the Act until the state plan is submitted and approved by USDA. Once submitted, USDA has 60 days after submittal for review and approval. Upon USDA approves the state plan, MDARD can enroll farmers to grow Industrial Hemp. The timeline for submission and review has been delayed due to the recent government shut down.

Since industrial hemp will be a highly regulated crop, the state plan will require a farm to register with the state before it can grow industrial hemp. From the Farm Bill it states that a farm will have to provide the state a legal description of the field(s) in which hemp will be grown. Furthermore, these records must be kept on file for 3 years after the crop is grown. Hemp will also need to be tested for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) through an approved lab, before marketing. THC levels can be no more than 0.30% on a dry weight basis. For additional information on the current requirements, refer to: https://www.michigan.gov/mdard./0,4610,7-125-1569_74018---,00.html.