An increasing number of pet owners are using cannabis-based products to treat their dogs’ ailments. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will begin accepting applications April 23 from people interested in participating in an industrial hemp pilot project.
“As of this morning, we had 845 people who signed up for our e-mail list to get more information,” said Jennifer Holton, spokeswoman for the department. “There is definitely a lot of interest and enthusiasm and I expect we’ll see a pretty hefty response.”
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, but hemp has much lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis that provides the high for users, than marijuana plants. Since 1970, all cannabis has been categorized as a controlled substance and, as such, considered illegal by the federal government.
The 2018 farm bill, however, legalized hemp and provides for regulating the growth of the plant. The fibers and stalks are used for a variety of purposes, including clothing, construction materials, paper and plastic composites, while the seeds and flowers are used in health food and body care products containing cannabidiol, better known as CBD. The bill also allows for the transportation of hemp-based products across state lines as long as the THC level is below 0.3 percent.
The state’s pilot program will allow people to test the waters to see whether growing and processing industrial hemp is economically feasible.
“Michigan is uniquely positioned to grow, process and manufacture industrial hemp. We are one of the nation’s most agriculturally diverse states — growing 300 different commodities on a commercial basis — making it a natural fit,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement released Thursday. “This emerging crop not only cultivates new opportunity for our farming community, but it also creates an avenue for new businesses to crop up across the state.”
People interested in getting involved will have to pay $100 to register as a hemp grower or $1,350 as a hemp processor. But those who have already gotten a state license to be a medical marijuana processor or tester, as well as colleges and universities doing hemp research, are exempt from the registration requirements.
To be eligible, a person must not have any illegal substance felony convictions in the past 10 years. Any hemp that contains more the 0.3% THC will have to be destroyed.
The state will hold a series of on-site registration events over the next two weeks to expedite the issuance of pilot program licenses and research agreements. The events will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as April 29-30, at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Exchange, 4301 Farm Lane, Lansing.
CBD-infused products derived from hemp include tinctures, cream, candy, dog treats and even water. CBD is touted, mostly anecdotally, as an ingredient that will do everything from provide relief from chronic pain and anxiety, make your skin smooth and silky, and calm skittish pets. The products market for CBD products is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022.
Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, email@example.com or on Twitter @michpoligal.
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