Delta-8 THC is restricted in Michigan and regulated under the state’s marijuana laws, meaning all hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 products cannot be sold, distributed, or produced by vendors not licensed by the state’s regulatory agency.
However, it’s currently unknown whether the use and possession of delta-8 products are similarly restricted or punishable under state law.
Other THC isomers, including THC-O and HHC, are also restricted and regulated.
Hemp-derived CBD products are not restricted under state or federal law. On the other hand, marijuana-derived CBD is restricted the same way as delta-8 and delta-9 under the state’s marijuana laws.
Is delta-8 legal in Michigan?
Hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 THC are restricted and regulated under Michigan’s marijuana laws, meaning the sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 products are limited to dispensaries and manufacturers licensed by the state’s regulatory agency.
As of October 11, 2021, unlicensed delta-8 vendors (online or physical storefronts) cannot sell delta-8 products. Similarly, unlicensed producers cannot manufacture delta-8 products.
All other THC isomers, including delta-10, HHC, THC-O, and THCP, fall under the same regulations as delta-8, meaning the sale, distribution, and production of all THC isomer products are restricted.
Both medical and recreational cannabis is legal in Michigan under state law. Medical cannabis was legalized in 2008, while recreational marijuana was legalized in 2018.
Hemp-derived CBD is also legal in Michigan, as is marijuana-derived CBD. However, the latter is restricted and regulated under the state’s marijuana regulations.
Under the regulatory framework, it’s illegal for any vendor or manufacturer to sell, distribute, or produce delta-8 THC products without applying for and obtaining proper licensing from the MRA.
According to an official announcement from the MRA, the reasoning behind regulating delta-8 is as follows:
Due to public health concerns and the need for rigorous testing of intoxicating cannabis compounds, the Michigan Legislature passed – and Governor Whitmer signed – legislation that categorizes all THC isomers of the cannabis plant (including delta-8), is now regulated by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency
The announcement also encourages members of the public to report any unlicensed commercial production or sale of delta-8 products to the MRA.
Legislative history of delta-8 (highlight of key events/bills)
Following the enactment of House Bill 4744 (Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act) in January 2019, Michigan officially legalized the use, possession, sale, distribution, production, and cultivation of hemp and hemp-derived compounds (including delta-8). This Act coincides with federal law legalizing hemp and hemp-derived compounds, as outlined in the 2014 and the amended 2018 Farm Bill.
However, following the Drug Enforcement Agency’s proposed Interim Final Rule (IFR) in mid-2020—potentially placing delta-8 as a federally illegal controlled substance— Michigan lawmakers introduced a set of eight bills on April 19, 2021, to regulate delta-8 products.
The bills (House Bills 4740-4745), led by House Bill 4517 and signed into law by Gov. Whitmer on July 13, 2021, revised Michigan’s definition of marijuana to include delta-8. The sale, production, and distribution of delta-8 products were also to be placed under the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s (MRA’s) control, starting October 11, 2021.
No unlicensed delta-8 vendors can sell or distribute delta-8 products in any capacity. Vendors and dispensaries must obtain licensing from the MRA. All delta-8 products must undergo mandatory testing and tracking before being put to market.
After the legislation was passed, the Michigan government published a press release outlining the reasons behind regulating delta-8 and includes comments from state lawmakers, including Gov. Whitmer, who states:
“This package of bills continues to show Michigan is the model for the nation regarding protecting its residents and making sure that those who consume marijuana products do so in a safe manner. I am glad to see Michigan continuing to lead on the implementation and regulation of a safe, secure marijuana industry, which has already brought tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue to the state, as well as thousands of well-paying jobs.”
“We applaud the House Regulatory Reform Committee for taking this major step toward requiring all products that mimic a cannabis high to be regulated by the MRA to promote the health and safety of all Michiganders. Any product considered medicine should adhere to the same health and safety standards as medicines dispensed in pharmacies.”
Purchasing delta-8 THC products in Michigan
Under Michigan state law, you cannot purchase delta-8 products from unlicensed delta-8 brands online or through physical retail stores. You can only buy delta-8 through licensed, state-regulated marijuana dispensaries, regardless of whether it’s derived from hemp or cannabis.
While the sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 is restricted and regulated in Michigan, it’s unclear whether you can travel into the state with delta-8 products in your possession.
However, you cannot travel into Michigan with any marijuana or marijuana-derived delta-8 products, despite all forms of marijuana being legal within the state. Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, and crossing state borders with any amount of cannabis is considered trafficking under federal law, even if you transport it from one legal state to another.
Is weed legal in Michigan?
Yes, medical and recreational weed is legal under state law and regulated by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), which is the same regulatory agency responsible for overseeing delta-8 and other THC isomers.
The Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative allowed patients with certain qualifying medical conditions legal use and possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Only licensed physicians could prescribe patients with medical cannabis. However, patients and caregivers were permitted to grow up to 12 cannabis plants at their residences for personal use.
Unfortunately, the MCCI provided a very basic regulatory framework for medical marijuana businesses, patients, and caregivers in Michigan.
As medical marijuana patient numbers grew, caregivers began establishing dispensaries, while others grew and supplied medical marijuana for dispensaries across the state, which fell outside Michigan’s protections outlined in the MMCI. In other words, caregivers were potentially operating outside the law.
In September 2016, three medical cannabis bills were signed by Governor Rick Snyder, creating a robust regulatory and licensing system to protect businesses, caregivers, and patients, as well as expanding the existing medical cannabis program.
The Act allows all adults aged 21+ to use, possess, purchase, transport, and process up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of marijuana concentrate. It also legalizes the cultivation of 12 plants and the possession of no more than 10 ounces at any given residence.
The first cannabis dispensaries opened later on December 1, 2019. As of 2021, there are 410 medical cannabis dispensaries operating in Michigan.
The possession of more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis is a civil infraction punishable by a fine of up to $500.
The possession of more than 5 ounces of cannabis is a misdemeanor also punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Can you buy delta-10 THC, THC-O, or HHC in Michigan?
No. Like delta-8, delta-10 THC is restricted and regulated the same way as delta-9 THC and marijuana in Michigan following an announcement from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
As already mentioned, the MRA restricts all THC isomers (including delta-8) and now regulates them under state marijuana laws. Therefore, it’s illegal for any unlicensed cannabis vendor to sell, distribute, or manufacture delta-8 products. The same restrictions and regulations apply to THC-O, HHC, and THCP.
Is CBD legal in Michigan?
Yes, hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD are legal under state law.
Hemp and hemp-derived CBD was officially legalized in January 2019 following the enactment of the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act. Hemp is defined as cannabis carrying no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight), which coincides with federal law and its cannabis definitions.
However, Michigan does not allow CBD to be infused in foods or beverages, nor can CBD products be marketed or advertised as dietary supplements, as directed by the FDA.
There are no restrictions on the quantity of hemp-derived CBD you can have in your possession.
Upcoming legislation in Michigan
Currently, there is no legislation regarding changes to delta-8’s legality in Michigan. The sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 products will remain restricted and regulated for the foreseeable future.
However, state lawmakers are in the process of urging the US Congress to clarify its position on the legality of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) through House Resolution 158, stating:
“The federal government’s lack of clarity and inconsistency in its interpretation of the legality of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 has created confusion and uncertainty for states legislating marijuana operations. This, in turn, affects law enforcement, banking, taxation, and zoning.”
While this doesn’t directly address delta-8’s federal legality, it’ll be interesting to see how the US Congress responds to the bill, especially as the majority of US states now legalize cannabis, either medically or recreationally.
Michigan’s decision to regulate delta-8 products under its existing marijuana laws is interesting. While many look at cannabis regulations as a step back, we believe it’s a step in the right direction.
According to our recent lab study on 51 delta-8 products currently on sale in the US, 76% carried way above the federal 0.3% THC limit, making them illegal. One product contained over 23% THC, which is 7700% over the legal limit.
Likewise, 77% of products had less delta-8 than advertised, 67% of companies didn’t test for impurities, and several others manipulated or doctored their third-party test results, indicating widespread fraudulence and deception.
Robust regulations potentially protect consumers from the unregulated delta-8 industry without outright banning it, which could result in an unsafe black market filled with harmful, contaminated products.
Michigan lawmakers have made a good call here, but smaller delta-8 vendors are likely taking a financial hit until they become properly licensed by the MRA.