Lansing, MI — Last week, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Republican Senator Dan Lauwers that would allow farmers in the state to grow hemp for commercial purposes. Senate Bill 850 would create the Industrial Hemp Growers Act and establish a state-operated program for industrial hemp.
“Hemp is best known for CBD oil, but also produces fibers used in fabrics, textiles, yarns, paper, home furnishings and a number of other objects,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “While it is a variety of the the same plant species as marijuana, it contains almost none of marijuana’s psychoactive component, THC, and has long been cultivated for non-drug use. Michigan farmers will benefit greatly from being able to grow hemp.”
With the passage of the 2018 federal Farm Bill, industrial hemp became legal under United States Department of Agriculture oversight.
While the USDA worked to create rules for industrial hemp, states were allowed to use the authority granted under the 2014 Farm Bill to create pilot programs. Michigan passed a law in 2018 to allow the commercial farming and processing of industrial hemp under a licensing and registration program for hemp growers and processors.
“Michigan’s pilot program for industrial hemp has been a great success,” Lauwers said. “There is increasing interest in this crop in a wide variety of sectors.”