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Official Michigan Hemp Research Act Guidance

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Industrial Hemp Research Act Guidance


Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Revised 2 October 2015



In 2014, Section 7606 of the Federal Agricultural Act (a.k.a. Farm Bill; Appendix A) legalized the

growth and cultivation of industrial hemp for agricultural or academic research by institutions

of higher education in states where such research is legal under state law. Michigan’s Industrial

Hemp Research Act, Act 547 of 2014 (Appendix B), signed into law on 15 January 2015,

provided that legalization in Michigan. This document provides guidelines for colleges or

universities interested in performing research on industrial hemp authorized by these statutes.

Definition of Industrial Hemp

The state and federal laws referenced above define industrial hemp as the plant Cannabis

sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9

tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%)

on a dry weight basis. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

(MDARD) considers all other taxa formally or informally placed within the genus Cannabis as

subspecies or varieties of C. sativa L. in accordance with Small, E. and A. Cronquist. 1976. A

practical and natural taxonomy for Cannabis. Taxon 35(4): 405-435.

MDARD’s Authorities and Responsibilities

Section 7606 of the Farm Bill requires that MDARD certify and register all sites used for growing

or cultivating industrial hemp for agricultural or academic research. Certification is MDARD’s

formal approval of each growing site. Registration is the process by which MDARD maintains

records of certified sites.

MDARD will certify proposed research sites by:

? Reviewing the completeness and accuracy of each Application for Industrial Hemp Growing

Site Certification.

? Confirming that the applicant is an employee or student at the college or university stated

in the application, and that the administration of the college or university consents to the

proposed research. Page 2



? Confirming that the applicant possesses a valid DEA Controlled Substances Registration


? Confirming that the proposed industrial hemp research site exists and is described

accurately in the application.

? Confirming that the college or university stated affiliated with application owns, leases,

rents, or otherwise controls the property on which the industrial hemp growing site is


If approved by the Director of MDARD, applicants will receive an official certification document

for each site that has been certified for industrial hemp research. Research sites that are

certified will be held on file at MDARD to meet the registration requirement and will be

provided to the Michigan State Police and other cooperating agencies as needed.

Legal Requirements for Researchers

? Only Michigan colleges and universities may grow or cultivate industrial hemp in Michigan,

and all industrial hemp grown or cultivated must be for agricultural or academic research


? Researchers growing or cultivating industrial hemp must possess a Controlled Substances

Registration Certificate from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Applications are

available online. MDARD recommends that this permit be pursued early in the

development of a research program because of potential delays.

? All industrial hemp growing sites must be certified by, and registered with, MDARD. To

have sites certified and registered, a qualifying researcher must complete and submit to

MDARD an application package that includes:

1. One completed application form for each proposed growing site.

2. A copy of your DEA Controlled Substances Registration Certificate.

3. Proof that the college or university rents, leases, or otherwise controls the property on

which the proposed growing site is located (if not on college- or university-owned


4. A cover letter on official college or university letterhead formally requesting certification

and signed by an authorized representative of the college’s or university’s

administration. This letter should include responses to the following questions:

- What are your research objectives?

- What varieties of industrial hemp will be grown and what is the source of seed?

- What method will be used to test the plants for their THC concentration and where

will this testing occur?

- How do you intend to dispose of or process the industrial hemp at the conclusion of

research? Page 3



? Certification will be valid for one year from the date of issuance.

? Industrial hemp cannot be planted at a proposed growing site until the applicant has

received an official certification document for that site from MDARD.

? Industrial hemp transported as part of this program must include within each shipment a

letter on the college’s or university’s letterhead providing notice that industrial hemp

authorized under the Industrial Hemp Research Act is included in the shipment.

Recommendations for Researchers

Seed. Neither the Farm Bill nor the Industrial Hemp Research Act makes legal provision for the

procurement of industrial hemp seed. Because industrial hemp seed cannot be distinguished

from other Cannabis seed morphologically or chemically, care should be taken to ensure with

the highest possible degree of certainty that procured seeds are, in fact, industrial hemp. The

procurement of seed from uncertified, obscure, or feral sources that results in the growth of

plants with a THC content greater than 0.3% by dry weight will place the researcher, college or

university, and/or property owner in violation of state and federal law.

The highest degree of certainty will be obtained by procuring seeds only from sources regulated

by robust industrial hemp seed certification programs. For example, Health Canada maintains a

list of approved cultivars at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/pubs/precurs/list_cultivars-liste2012/index-

eng.php. These cultivars are tested annually and are consistently below the legal threshold for

THC of 0.3% by dry weight.

Procuring viable hemp seed from foreign countries (including Canada) requires a DEA Permit to

Import Controlled Substances for Domestic and/or Scientific Purposes. Applications are

available online. MDARD recommends that this permit be pursued early in the development of

a research program because of potential delays.

Testing. To ensure compliance with State and Federal law, MDARD recommends that industrial

hemp plants be laboratory tested for THC concentration when fully grown. Testing typically

occurs approximately two weeks prior to harvest to maximize the detectable THC

concentration. MDARD cannot at this time recommend a testing procedure, but Health Canada

details standard operating procedures for sampling, testing, and processing industrial hemp at

www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/pubs/precurs/tech-man-eng.php. In the event that plants contain THC

concentrations higher than the allowed 0.3% by dry weight, MDARD will coordinate with

researchers and law enforcement as needed to ensure that the plants are disposed of properly.

Security. MDARD strongly recommends that growing sites be secured behind locked doors,

fences, or by remote geography to minimize the likelihood of vandalism, theft, or use of

growing sites as hiding locations for marijuana plants. Note that MDARD may not be able to

protect growing site location information from Freedom of Information Act requests. Page 4




Mike Philip, Plant Industry Specialist

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

P.O. Box 30017, Lansing MI 48909

517-284-5649 | 517-512-0187


Robin Rosenbaum, Plant Industry Section Manager

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

P.O. Box 30017, Lansing MI 48909


rosenbaumr@michigan.govPage 5



Appendix A. Section 7606 of the federal Agricultural Act of 2014. Page 6



Appendix B. Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Research Act, Act 547 of 2014.

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Apparentley still not legal according to MSU as of Feb 2015... Michigan State University Extension reminds growers that commercial production of industrial hemp remains illegal in the United States, for the time being.  wtf?


Although I would love to grow some,  it  would be hard to make a profit. Seeds from FI via CA seem hi @ 11.35 / lb or about $4000 to plant 30 acres

Finola Seed Co

Health Canada Seeds



From the EU:  History of Hemp ...

"Since 1611 hemp began to be cultivated in Virginia. Textile and medicinal properties of cannabis were well known to the first American president GW#1 (his government paid subsidies to farmers to grow hemp). In 1857, American author F. Ludlow describes a personal experience after taking tincture of Indian hemp, confirming the sacred power of this plant. The psychoactive properties of cannabis were admired by D. Thoreau, Herman Melville, and many other famous American writers and philosophers.

         Between 1840 and 1900 in the Western medical literature was published more than a hundred works about the medicinal properties of cannabis. Until 1937 hemp was prescribed as the primary drug for the treatment of more than 100 different diseases in US pharmacopoeia as a remedy for asthma, migraine, herpes, arthritis, rheumatic pains, dysentery, insomnia and a variety of neurological disorders."


Hemp Through the Years   since 3727 BC [u.Kraine in english]


History of Cannabis


History of Hemp II ...

Edited by solabeirtan
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yes its not legal for regular people to grow hemp.


did you read the guidance? plus the federal law that says hemp can only be grown by universities for research purposes.


michigan department requires you to have DEA license first, then also university written letter by the university administration and all that other stuff.

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Research Act? Gotta be a misnomer.


These guidelines read like something written by a commitee of Prohibitionists who have had their collective heads in the sand for the last 80 years.

Cannabis Research has been going on uninterrupted for thousands of years, just not so much in the fascist states.

Get your head out of the sand.

It's a plant already, get over it.


As a matter o fact I am going to do a little Research right now.

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