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Michigan combines hemp and cannabis agencies to send more funds to schools, roads and first response

Michigan’s governor is consolidating regulation of hemp and THC-rich cannabis into a single state agency.



Citing efficiency, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Feb. 11 combining two state regulatory bodies to oversee processing, distribution, and sale of cannabis and hemp. The executive order will take effect April 12, 60 days from the date of issue.

Gov. Whitmer said the change would lead to more efficient administration and enforcement, allowing those industries to grow and create jobs while directing a greater portion on tax revenue to local communities.


"Consolidating multiple government functions into the newly named Cannabis Regulatory Agency will help us continue growing our economy and creating jobs," Gov. Whitmer said in a press release. "And to be blunt — safe, legal cannabis entrepreneurship, farming, and consumption helps us put Michiganders first by directing the large windfall of tax revenue from this new industry to make bigger, bolder investments in local schools, roads, and first responders."


“To be blunt — safe, legal cannabis entrepreneurship, farming, and consumption helps us put Michiganders first by directing the large windfall of tax revenue from this new industry to make bigger, bolder investments in local schools, roads, and first responders."

— Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer


The Cannabis Regulatory Agency

Until now, hemp has been regulated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and THC-rich cannabis by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.


Gov. Whitmer's order renames the Marijuana Regulatory Agency as the Cannabis Regulatory Agency. The CRA will regulate processing, distribution, and sale of both hemp and marijuana going forward.


The department of agriculture will continue oversight of hemp farming.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency was established in spring 2019, after voters approved legal medical and recreational adult use in Nov. 2018, according to The Detroit News. Since then, the agency has developed a regulatory structure for the marijuana industry and enforced those regulations. It’s also licensed dozens of farmers, testers and shops.


In Spite of Setbacks, Michigan Cannabis Sales Are Growing

“Since legalization, Michigan’s cannabis industry has grown by leaps and bounds, experiencing a few growing pains along the way,” Maureen Meehan reported for the Michigan-based financial media outlet Benzinga.


Challenges include fluctuating prices, market growth, a disagreement over how much medical cannabis caregivers can grow and a Nov. 2021 recall that was recently ruled an overreach.


In spite of the setbacks, the state’s medical and recreational cannabis markets brought in roughly $1.8 billion in 2021, combined.

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