Michigan legalized medical marijuana in November, 2008, becoming the 13th state in America to do so. In November of 2018, voters in the Great Lake State passed Proposal 1, making Michigan the 10th state in America and the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational cannabis.

Michigan legal cannabis sales officially begin Dec. 1, 2019. However, both supply and locations to purchase at will be limited. Sales were originally slated to begin in January 2020, before the state abruptly moved the date up to Dec. 1, leaving many businesses unprepared. In order to supply adult-use sales, medical dispensaries were allowed to transfer up to 50% of their 30-supply.

The majority of towns and cities in Michigan, over 1,400, have currently opted out of recreational sales, including Detroit. However, many (Detroit included) are simply delaying approval until legislative details can be ironed out (such as how to implement social equity initiatives), and expect to have a system of adult-use sales implemented in 2020. Timelines for roll-out vary by place. Currently, only Ann Arbor has dispensaries licensed and ready for sales on Dec. 1, with more license approvals already being processed. Expect more widespread sales to roll out by mid-2020.

Possession

Under Proposal 1, adults 21 years of age or older are legally allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis outside of their home and up to 10 ounces in their home. Additionally, adults of age may possess and cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants in their home and possess no more than 15 grams of concentrate at any given time.

Michigan Recreational Cannabis Possession Limits:

  • Up to 2.5 ounces away from home

  • Up to 10 ounces at home

  • No more than 15 grams of cannabis concentrates

  • Up to 12 cannabis plants

Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, qualifying patients suffering from a state-approved debilitating condition are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and usable marijuana equivalents.

Michigan Medical Marijuana Equivalents:

  • 16 ounces of marijuana-infused products in solid form

  • 7 grams of marijuana infused product in gaseous form

  • 36 fluid ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form

Additionally, qualifying patients are also allowed to possess up to 12 marijuana plants, so long as they are kept in an enclosed, locked facility. If a qualifying patient specifies a primary caregiver upon registration into the program, then the specified caregiver would be allowed to possess 12 marijuana plants as well as 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana.

Incidental or minute amounts of stems, stalks, seeds and roots are not included in Michigan medical marijuana possession limits.

Purchasing

As of Dec. 1, 2019, Michiganders are able to purchase cannabis for recreational adult-use (“recreational cannabis”). The majority of cities and townships in Michigan have decided to ban recreational sales, 1,411 total, making early availability extremely limited. Currently, only 3 dispensaries are licensed to start sales Dec. 1, all of them located in Ann Arbor. More cities and townships are planning to roll out locations in early 2020, having previously expected a Jan. 1 start date, and more widespread adoption is expected to spread thereafter. 

Under Senate Bill 660 and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, patients are not permitted to obtain more than 2.5 ounces of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. Recreational possession is also limited to 2.5 oz. Dispensaries reserve the right to limit sales based on laws and regulations of the local jurisdiction where the dispensary is located.

Qualifying Patients for Medical Marijuana

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act specifies qualifying patients as “a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a ‘debilitating medical condition.’”

Debilitating medical conditions include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome

  • Cancer

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Glaucoma

  • Hepatitis C

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Nail Patella

  • Seizures

  • Severe & Chronic Pain

  • Severe & Persistent Muscle Spasms

  • Severe Nausea

  • Any other medical condition approved by the Department of Community Health

In order to be considered a qualified patient who is eligible for the medical marijuana program, a patient must receive written certification from a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy. The physician must certify that a patient has a debilitating condition and that, in their professional opinion, the patient will receive therapeutic benefits from the medical use of marijuana to treat their symptom(s).

Consumption

Recreational cannabis is legal in Michigan, but that doesn't mean adults of age can consume marijuana everywhere. Public cannabis consumption is strictly illegal in Michigan, as is driving under the influence of marijuana.

The consumption of medical marijuana by qualifying patients is also permitted, so long as the patient follows the provisions set forth under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Similar to recreational cannabis, the consumption of marijuana is only allowed on private property out of view from the public and cannot be consumed in any public place or property.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of recreational or medical marijuana is strictly prohibited. Driving under the influence of cannabis is treated in similar light to a DUI with alcohol, and violators face steep fines and even jail time as punishment. Our advice? Don’t smoke and drive! There are plenty of ride-sharing options or public transportation choices that will keep you safe and on the right side of the law at all times.

Transporting Marijuana

Transporting recreational and medical marijuana in Michigan is legal for qualified patients, caregivers and adults of age as long as the marijuana or marijuana-infused products being transported are:

  • In a sealed and labeled package

  • In the trunk of the car

    • If there is no trunk, the marijuana must be in a location that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle

If a patient or caregiver is found in violation of these stipulations, they face a civil fine of up to $250.

Exporting Marijuana

Exporting recreational or medical marijuana from Michigan to other states is strictly prohibited and illegal under both Proposal 1 and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Medical cannabis is only for the patient that it was purchased for and therefore cannot be sold, transferred or exported to anyone in or out of the state of Michigan.

Forms of exporting include, but are not limited to, mailing, driving, shipping, flying or boating cannabis across state lines.

Cultivation

Proposal 1 permits any adult 21 years of age or older to legally cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants in their residence, so long as there are no more than 12 plants total within the residence. Medical patients in Michigan are also allowed to cultivate their own plants. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, it is permissible for qualified patients or caregivers to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants as well. Whether growing medically or recreationally, all cannabis plants must be grown inside locked, secured and enclosed facilities that are not visible to the public.

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