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Michigan Will Start Regulating Delta-8 THC This Fall

Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash

Delta-8 THC, a compound derived from CBD, will be regulated in Michigan beginning this fall.

That’s following legislation signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer this week.

Delta-8 THC is similar to the cannabinoid Delta-9 THC found in marijuana, but has milder psychoactive properties.

It became controversial after being sold untested in convenience stores, gas stations, and smoke shops throughout the state. Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, said in a press release the new legislation is in the interest of public health.

“We know that banning these substances is not the best way to keep the public safe. But we also know that these psychoactive compounds are currently being sold with no public health standards to anyone, regardless of age.”

Rob Robar is the owner and operator of The Helping Friendly Hemp Company in Madison Heights Michigan.

He makes and sells Delta-8 THC products.

Robar said he’s glad that Michigan did not go with an all-out ban, but he does have some concerns.

“I'm happy that we're not talking about a complete outright ban of this particular cannabinoid,” Robar said. “On the other side, it does create a certain set of hurdles for a lot of people who are currently providing these products for people. It's really going to limit the players who can be involved.”

Robar said the new legislation will be limiting to smaller hemp producers like himself because of the costs of licensing at stake.

“When it comes to licensed cannabis space, it's going to require a whole lot more investment,” he said.

Robar has been preparing for Governor Whitmer to sign off on this legislation. It’s something he saw as inevitable. He said he’s already laid off six to seven manufacturers and has been actively working to phase out his Delta-8 THC products.

And that’s something Robar said is not exclusive to Michigan, but to many other U.S. states.

As of late June, at least 14 states including: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Utah have banned, or restricted, Delta-8 THC.

Under Michigan’s new legislation, the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency will oversee Delta-8 THC products by conducting testing.

The package of bills also updates definitions regarding products derived from the cannabis plant.

The changes take effect October 11.

Megan Schellong hosted and produced Morning Edition on WKAR from 2021 to 2024.
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