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Michigan Bills Look To Tighten The Definition Of Marijuana

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation to close a gap in Michigan marijuana law that has allowed some untested products similar to marijuana to be sold passed Thursday in the state House.

The legislation would include all THC products in the legal definition of marijuana, therefore subjecting all such products to the same level of testing, regulation and restrictions. THC is the main compound in cannabis and marijuana products that gets users high.

The scientific name for THC is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, so when Michigan looked to include THC in its laws it explicitly said "delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol."

Due to the current narrow definition of marijuana in state law, gas stations and smoke shops in Michigan have been able to sell other hemp-derived products, which have similar intoxicating effects.

That allowed untested and unregulated THC products to be purchased by people who shouldn't, including minors, bill sponsor Rep. Yousef Rabhi said during a recent House Regulatory Reform Committee meeting.

The state puts growers and processors through rigorous testing processes, Steve Linder, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, said at the meeting. Linder said companies in the association are happy to comply with the process because they all create medicinal products.

"Any product considered medicine should adhere to the same health and safety standards as medicines dispensed in pharmacies," Linder said.

Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008 and recreational marijuana in 2018.

The bills received bipartisan approval. They now go to the state Senate and then to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for consideration.

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