Effective April 13, 2022, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency has a new name—the Cannabis Regulatory Agency. On February 11, 2022, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2022-1, which made a number of significant changes to various Michigan administrative agencies.  

Notably, the Executive Order re-named the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (“CRA”) and transferred the regulation and oversight of industrial hemp processing from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (“MDARD”) to CRA. Regulatory oversight and licensure of industrial hemp cultivation will remain with MDARD. 

In recent years, the industrial hemp and marijuana sectors have seen increasing overlap. For example, industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (“CBD”) have been regularly added to existing marijuana-infused products. In addition, terpenes, terpenoids, flavonoids, and other industrial hemp-derived ingredients are regularly added to marijuana-infused products. This increasing overlap was one of the driving considerations for bringing regulation of industrial hemp processing under the regulatory purview of CRA. 

CRA has already started the process of promulgating administrative rules concerning the regulation of industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids and products used in marijuana-infused products. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency had started the rulemaking process prior to the Governor’s issuance of the Executive Order and held a public hearing on these proposed rules on February 16, 2022. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, CRA makes to these proposed rules now that it is charged with regulation of industrial hemp processing as well. One would also expect that CRA will promulgate new rules specific to the regulation and licensure of industrial hemp processor-handlers now that their activities fall under CRA’s regulatory oversight.

We will be watching and reporting on all of these exciting developments as they progress. Stay tuned for more updates and insights from Dykema. Meanwhile, practice saying “CRA” instead of “MRA.”