Legal cannabis has come to the midwest! On December 6th, 2018, Michigan cannabis laws were changed to legalize recreational cannabis. Michigan already legalized the medical use of cannabis in 2008, making them the 13th state to do so; and now they’re the 10th state to join the ranks for legal recreational cannabis. It’s expected to take about a year for adult-use dispensaries to open, but for now, Michigan-goers can at least rest easy knowing that enjoying cannabis at home is fully legal.
Michigan Cannabis Laws: Possession Limits
Michigan cannabis laws now allow for adult users who are 21 or older to have up to 2.5 ounces away from home, or about 140 joints. It allows for 10 ounces at home, or 560 joints. No more than 15 grams of cannabis concentrates are allowed, and one can grow up to 12 cannabis plants. Some argue that allowing 2.5 ounces away from home is too much and is asking for trouble. It is the largest recreational carry limit in the country. For comparison, California allows for 1 ounce, or 57 joints.
Michigan Cannabis Laws: Purchasing
Another tricky element of the changing laws is that while it’s legal to have, grow, and consume cannabis (in a private space) – it’s still illegal to buy it. This means that people who grow it can give it out to friends and family for free, but they cannot accept money for it. (Medical dispensaries still require proper documentation.) Tricky, very tricky. Aspiring recreational dispensary owners will be able to apply for licenses starting on December 6th, 2019.
Michigan Cannabis Laws: Consumption Limits
There are still limits on the legality of cannabis. For one, it’s illegal to smoke in public, including on porches or driveways outside of a private residence. For those who grow their own, plants cannot be visible to the public. It’s also not allowed on most college campuses. It is, of course, illegal to drive under the influence. Cannabis must be in a sealed and labeled package in the trunk of one’s car, or in comparable space if the automobile does not have a trunk. It is illegal to bring cannabis across state lines.
Michigan Cannabis Laws: Regulation
The Bureau of Marijuana Regulation will be tasked with creating the rules and framework for recreational cannabis in the state.
Michigan Cannabis Laws: Dealing With Previous Records
There’s talk of expunging the records of those with cannabis infractions as well as getting offenders out of jail. Pending cannabis cases are currently being dismissed, a county prosecutor in Michigan told CBS News he has already dismissed 50 pending cases for misdemeanor marijuana offenders that are no longer illegal as of December 6th. There are proposals to tackle previous convictions, though only time will tell if any become law.
Michigan Cannabis Laws: Taxation
Taxes were originally meant to be dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located, but a proposed bill takes issue with that specific allocation. Cannabis is currently taxed at 10%, but the proposed bill would lower it to 3%. (Either way, the 6% state sales tax will still apply.)
There are definitely kinks to be worked out in Michigan cannabis laws, but their legal progress is being celebrated by most of its residents; and also by the industry as a whole. Our nation now has a whopping 20% of our states welcoming recreational cannabis, and benefiting from its financial and social benefits. Go, America, go.