The new regulatory body officially replaced the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), which previously oversaw Michigan’s medical and adult-use cannabis markets.
Hemp regulation previously fell under the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), and while the department will continue to oversee hemp cultivation in the state, the CRA will regulate the processing, distribution and sale of hemp going forward, according to WLUC.
“Given the multiple scenarios where hemp processing crosses over to the regulatory authority of the CRA, this move certainly makes sense, particularly for cannabinoid production,” MDARD Industrial Hemp Program Manager Molly Mott told the news outlet. “The majority of Michigan’s licensed hemp processors perform cannabinoid extraction and have no route to handle temporarily concentrated THC and residual THC. CRA has the staff and expertise to help address those issues.”
The CRA now also has authority over Michigan’s hemp processors and handlers under the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, the news outlet reported.
“This administrative change will help Michigan continue to lead the country in its approach to cannabis by growing the hemp and marijuana economies, creating jobs, and investing in local communities,” CRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo told WLUC. “The new CRA will pick up where the MRA left off–continuing to establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to cannabis.”
Whitmer issued Executive Order 2022-1 in February to make the change, which was set to take effect in 60 days.
“Consolidating multiple government functions into the newly named Cannabis Regulatory Agency will help us continue growing our economy and creating jobs,” Whitmer said in a public statement at the time. “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.”