February 19, 2021 7 min read

Delta-8-THC, a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid, is legal by federal law, but is Delta-8-THC legal in Michigan. Every state governs hemp differently, but Michigan’s Delta-8 laws may be some of the most confusing in the nation.

Delta-8’s legality is being heavily debated in the state, and it seems to be available in the state, although existing in a legal gray area. Here’s what we know for now:

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest Delta-8 laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.

Table of Contents
Delta-8-THC and Federal Laws
Michigan Delta-8-THC Laws
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Michigan
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Michigan?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Michigan
Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8?
Is Delta-8 Legal in All 50 States?
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8 is a cannabinoid derived from legal hemp, and is therefore legal according to federal legislation.
  • Michigan hemp laws seem to legalize all natural hemp derived, but the state’s Controlled Substances Act has conflicting laws concerning tetrahydrocannabinol isomers. Delta-8 may be legal depending on how it is produced.
  • To ensure that the Delta-8 you purchase is legal, you have to ensure that it is made from legal hemp by a licensed grower.
  • You generally need to be at least 21 years old to purchase Delta-8-THC products made from hemp. You may be able to find it in stores in Michigan, but you can also buy legal Delta-8 online and have it shipped directly to your door.

Delta 8 THC and Federal Laws

Delta 8's federal status is confusing at first glance. Technically, Delta-8-THC has been listed as a Schedule I substance alongside Delta-9-THC for well over a decade.

More recently, however, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was signed into law. Under this legislation, hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC became legal, as did any cannabinoids, extracts, or isomers derived from the legal hemp material.

In fact, Section 12619b of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act specifically addresses tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp. By extension of this new law, Delta-8-THC was legal, or so it seemed.

Here's the catch:

Most of the legal Delta-8 products on the market are made by "synthesizing" CBD. While federal hemp legislation currently allows the production and sale of naturally derived cannabinoids, it specifically prohibits all synthesized cannabinoids.

So where does this put Delta-8-THC, considering it is both a naturally occurring cannabinoid and can be synthesized from legal CBD?

To understand, you need to take a look at the method used to turn CBD into Delta 8, which is vastly different from the complex process that is generally used to create synthetic cannabinoids.

The conversion process between CBD and Delta 8 relies on a transfer of isomers, a process called isomerization, between the two cannabinoids. This means that Delta-8-THC technically exists as a hemp "isomer," which is covered by hemp's legal definition according to the 2018 law.

In other words, Delta-8 is made from hemp and considered to be a naturally occurring part of the hemp plant.

The types of cannabinoids that the DEA typically carve out as “synthetic” are liquid agents that are frequently applied to plant material, like K2 and Spice. Legal forms of synthetic cannabinoids, such as Marinol, also exist as prescription pharmaceuticals. Unlike Delta-8-THC, these substances are purely synthetic and made in a lab without the use of plant material.

Of course, laws regarding cannabinoids are still subject to change as hemp regulations are ironed out by both the DEA and FDA. For now, Delta 8 maintains a federally legal status, but state laws still may pose limitations on Delta-8-THC access.

Hemp flower, a federally legal form of cannabis, before harvested and processed to make Delta-8.

 

Michigan Delta 8 THC Laws

Michigan updated its hemp laws after the 2018 Farm Bill took effect to effectively legalize most hemp derivatives, like CBD.

The new laws define hemp similarly to the way they are defined by federal law. In Michigan, hemp means the plant Cannabis sativa and all parts of the plant, including cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers. By this definition, Delta-8-THC appears to be legal in the state.

However, the state’s Controlled Substances Act lists delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and all of its optical isomers as a Controlled Substance, which seems to include Delta-8-THC. Under these conflicting laws, Delta-8 appears to be legal when naturally derived from legal hemp material, but not when produced via isomerization.

In neighboring states Indiana and Ohio, Delta-8 is legal without these harsh restrictions.

Here are some excerpts from Michigan state law:

HOUSE BILL NO. 6330 - INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT

Act No. 641

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 15, 2019

(i) “Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the viable seeds of that plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. Industrial hemp includes industrial hemp commodities and products and topical or ingestible animal and consumer products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

(v) “THC” means tetrahydrocannabinol.

PUBLIC HEALTH CODE (EXCERPT) ACT 368 OF 1978

333.7106 Definitions;

(2) “Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the viable seeds of that plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. Industrial hemp includes industrial hemp commodities and products and topical or ingestible animal and consumer products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

(4) “Marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., growing or not; the seeds of that plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. Marihuana does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted from those stalks, fiber, oil, or cake, or any sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of germination. Marihuana does not include industrial hemp.

333.7212 Schedule 1; controlled substances included.

(d) Synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant, or in the resinous extractives of cannabis and synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure or pharmacological activity, or both, such as the following, are included in schedule 1:

(i) /\1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers.

(ii) /\6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers.

(iii) /\3,4, cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers.

Delta 8 THC Possession Limits in Michigan

Michigan law does not define any possession limits for legal hemp or hemp products, including legal forms of Delta-8-THC.

Still, Delta-8 could be easily confused for Delta-9 THC by authorities without proper documentation and lab testing.

Basic lab testing checks only for tetrahydrocannabinol, meaning that extensive lab tests are needed to differentiate between Delta-8 content and Delta-9 content when proof of legal possession is needed.

Is Cannabis (Delta 9 THC) Legal in Michigan?

Michigan voters approved the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act in 2008, which officially legalized medical-use cannabis for qualifying patients in the state. A decade later, the state passed the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults aged 21 and over.

Where to Buy Delta 8 in Michigan?

Delta-8 vapes, one of the most popular product types found in legal Delta-8 markets.

Michigan’s hemp market is still mostly unregulated, and it’s unclear if legal Delta-8 products are being sold in the state. When you can find Delta-8 products in local stores, both the legality (depending on how it’s made) and quality may be in question.

It’s advisable to proceed with caution when choosing a Delta-8 distributor. While you can likely find various hemp products in local stores, there may be benefits to buying Delta-8 online. One reason is that you can buy directly from a brand or manufacturer, instead of purchasing through a third-party vendor that may not fully understand Delta-8 effects and uses or the laws surrounding Delta-8 products.

At Bloom Society, our Delta-8-THC products comply with all parameters of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. We can also help answer questions about Delta-8 before you buy, or you can read our “What is Delta-8-THC?” guide to learn everything you need to know.

Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8 in Michigan?

There are no state regulations that place age restriction on the purchase of hemp-derived products. Retailers have the right to determine age limits for the purchase of Delta-8 products, but many retailers require consumers to be at least 21 years of age.

Is Delta 8 Legal in All 50 States?

Delta-8-THC is currently federally legal under the context of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, but each state has the right to determine their own stance on tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp. Delta-8-THC may be legal in Michigan according to state law, but you should read more about Delta-8 laws by state to determine the legality in other areas.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Drug Fact Sheet: K2/Spice” https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/K2-spice-2020.pdf
  3. “MARINOL” https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/018651s025s026lbl.pdf
  4. “HOUSE BILL NO. 6330 - INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT” http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/publicact/pdf/2018-PA-0641.pdf
  5. “PUBLIC HEALTH CODE (EXCERPT) ACT 368 OF 1978” http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(5plkphngs1no3zxnkrfvyuzg))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-333-7106&highlight=Public%20AND%20Health%20AND%20Code%20AND%2017708
  6. “333.7212 Schedule 1; controlled substances included.” http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(5plkphngs1no3zxnkrfvyuzg))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-333-7212&highlight=Public%20AND%20Health%20AND%20Code%20AND%2017708
  7. “Michigan Medical Marihuana Act” https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_Medical_Marijuana_Initiative,_Proposal_1_(2008)
  8. “Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act” https://www.house.mi.gov/hfa/PDF/Alpha/Ballot_Proposal_2018-1_Marijuana_Initiative.pdf

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