Help in store for those using hemp products

By Marie E. Matyjaszek

As the spring site of the annual Hash Bash (now in its 48th year), Ann Arbor has helped keep marijuana use in the public spotlight even when recreational marijuana was illegal in Michigan.

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, “hemp” is defined as “a tall widely cultivated Asian herb (Cannabis sativa of the family Cannabaceae, the hemp family) that is cultivated for its tough bast fiber and edible seeds and oil and that is often separated into a tall loosely branched species (C. sativa) and a low-growing densely branched species (C. indica).” 

Hemp products do not produce anywhere near the levels of THC that marijuana does, with their levels being no more than 0.3 percent, and marijuana coming in anywhere from 5 to 35 percent.  Simply put, you’re not going to get high when using industrial hemp, according to experts.

Medically, industrial hemp products, such as CBD oil, are used to treat those suffering from pain, epilepsy/seizures, anxiety, and depression. 

A new law enacted in Michigan on December 28, 2018, now protects those using industrial hemp products by excluding those products from the legal definition of marijuana. The law defines industrial hemp as having “a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.” (See Public Act 642 of 2018, (2).)  A user of these products would not be required to have a medical marijuana card as the products are no longer considered marijuana, thanks to the updated law.

Hopefully this change will make it easier for those suffering from various health ailments to obtain treatments, and boost the industry that supplies the product.

The new law is scheduled to take effect on March 28, 2019, and will usher in a new era in drug treatment techniques.


The author is an Attorney Referee at the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court; however, the views expressed in this column are her own. Her blog site is: She can be reached by e-mailing her at