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Criminal Justice & Legal System

New laws dealing with marijuana regulation take effect this week

Marijuana plant
USFWS
/
A marijuana plant.

New laws dealing with marijuana regulation take effect Monday.

One of the most notable changes deals with the hemp-derived THC compound Delta-8.

Democratic state Representative Yousef Rabhi was among the sponsors of the law to put Delta-8 and similar products under the watch of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency—or MRA.

“If you regulate Delta-8 and other THC compounds, you’re putting them under the same regulatory structure which means the sale to minors is now going to be prohibited whereas before, technically, it was not because it was a hemp-derived product,” Rabhi said.

MRA executive director Andrew Brisbo said the change means consumers will no longer be able to find Delta-8 at gas stations or convenience stores.

“Those products also won’t be available through the regulated system until we’ve had a chance to fully evaluate the safety and potential implications on a consumer for those types of products,” he said.

The MRA said approved locations will be able to carry the products in the future.

Previously, Delta-8 and similar compounds were mostly unregulated thanks to a loophole in their classification.

That led to lawmakers having concerns about safety and possible sale to minors.

Republican state Representative Jim Lilly is among the sponsors of the law to rein in similar products.

“Our framework for Delta-8 categorized the product as industrial hemp even though it had a psychoactive effect. So that didn’t really make a lot of sense because, in Michigan, this product was being sold in gas stations, in convenience stores with essentially little or no oversight,” Lilly said.

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