Michigan reports successful first year for industrial hemp pilot program

click to enlarge Michigan reports successful first year for industrial hemp pilot program
Canna Obscura, Shutterstock

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting a successful first year for its inaugural industrial hemp pilot program.

“With the inaugural year of growing hemp for the first time in decades under our belt, Michigan is focused on taking the next steps with this emerging crop,” MDARD director Gary McDowell said in a statement. “Last year, hemp was grown in 58 of the state’s counties and I look forward to the next phase of this program.”

MDARD launched the Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program so farmers and researchers could grow and study industrial hemp, or cannabis that has low levels of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. It can be used for textiles, food, biofuel, animal feed, and CBD, the non-psychoactive component of marijuana.

Under the pilot program, 3,678 acres of hemp was planted outdoors and an additional 400,977 square feet of hemp was planted indoors. Registered growers and processors were required to submit a research report to MDARD after the end of the growing season, which were summarized in a report.

MDARD will continue the program in 2020.

Replican State Senator Dan Lauwers has also sponsored Senate Bills 850, 851, 852, and 853, which would align Michigan’s Industrial Hemp laws with the United States Department of Agriculture for approval for hemp cultivation.

“This legislation keeps Michigan farmers compliant with federal requirements to grow industrial Hemp,” Lauwers said in a statement. “It’s important we keep farmers eligible to grow this new crop for the diversity it offers their operations and the competitiveness of Michigan agriculture.”

It's a new era for marijuana in Michigan. Sign up for our weekly weed newsletter, delivered every Tuesday at 4:20 p.m.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
Scroll to read more One Hitters articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.