RELEASE: Whitmer signs bill to update Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act  


For immediate release: March 24, 2021 

Program contact: Gina Alessandri, 517-284-5637 

Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 


Whitmer signs bill to update Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act  

Key updates bring state into compliance with final USDA rule 


LANSING, Mich.  Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 0816, sponsored by Senator Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township), which updates Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act (Public Act 220 of 2020) to ensure the state’s hemp program is in alignment with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final hemp rule, which went into effect on March 22, 2021.  


Updating our industrial hemp growers act was a critical step in maintaining regulatory certainty for hemp cultivation in Michigan,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. This helps our hemp growers and processors ensure they’re aligned nationally and signals the importance of supporting this emerging part of our agriculture economy. I appreciate the bi-partisan support and swift movement ensuring Michigan’s legislative framework meets federal requirements.” 


Key revisions and updates to the state’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act include the following: 

  • The hemp harvest window has increased from 15 to 30 days.  
  • The grower registration cycle has been changed from December 1 – November 30 to February 1 – January 31. This means grower registrations already issued for the 2021 growing season will be valid until January 31, 2022. 
  • USDA modified sampling provisions allowing states to develop performance-based sampling requirements. This added flexibility lets MDARD take into consideration variables such as seed certification, grower compliance, variety performance, etc. when developing its sampling plan. 
  • Growers can now remediate non-compliant hemp instead of disposing of it. Specific options for remediation are identified and require post remediation sampling to ensure compliance with acceptable THC levels. 
  • The negligence threshold has been raised from 0.5 percent to one percent, and the maximum number of negligent violations a grower can receive in a growing season (a calendar year) has been limited to one.  
  • Effective December 31, 2022, all laboratories testing industrial hemp, including those laboratories testing hemp throughout the growing season to monitor THC levels, must be registered with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.  

A copy of SB 186 can be found here. 


Additional information about the Michigan industrial hemp program is available at To receive email updates from MDARD—which include important program news, including updates on the federal hemp rules, changes to state hemp laws, and regulatory reminders for hemp licensees—click on the red envelope found on the right-hand side of the webpage.