Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill that would lower the minimum age to work with cannabis in an effort to allow college-aged students engage in cannabis-related studies in the classroom setting.

House Bill 6061, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Coleman, D-Westland, would amend the state’s adult-use cannabis law, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, to lower the minimum age to work with cannabis in certain capacities from 21 to 18 years old, according to an MLive.com report.

Michigan’s 2016 Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act set the legal age for employment at medical cannabis operations at 18, according to the news outlet, but when voters enacted the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act in 2018, it legalized the possession, use and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

H.B. 6061 would allow adults 18 and older to possess, consume, purchase or otherwise obtain cannabis, as well as process, transport and sell it, but only if doing so as an agent of a specified cannabis licensee, MLive.com reported.

The legislation would also allow adults 18 and older to volunteer for or work at a cannabis facility, according to the news outlet.

“We have folks, young people who are in these college programs or who are trying to start their careers off who are unable to get involved in the industry because they might be 18, 19 or 20,” Coleman said, according to MLive.com. “We want to give young people the opportunity to learn on the job, to start their careers and to become successful people in society. … These are good paying jobs, and we want to see people have equal opportunity.”

Northern Michigan University offers a degree in cannabis studies, while Lake Superior State University, Grand Valley State University and the University of Michigan also offer cannabis-related studies in the state, MLive.com reported.

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H.B. 6061 was introduced in May and received a House Regulatory Reform Committee hearing in June, according to the news outlet.

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