With legalization on the ballot this November 6th, the Michigan marijuana industry is buzzing with excitement. The latest polling numbers show the proposal has more than enough support to pass, and when it does, Michigan is primed to become one of the largest cannabis markets in the country. Marijuana entrepreneurs in the Great Lakes State aren’t the only ones who are closely watching projections, however. The entire U.S. cannabis industry has its eyes on Michigan.
Current Michigan Marijuana Laws
Michigan voters approved medical marijuana in 2008, the 13th state to do so. In the ten years since medical marijuana in Michigan has truly bloomed. The state is home to a very large population of medical marijuana patients, second only to California.
Currently, to qualify for the medical marijuana program, Michiganders (or Michiganians, if you prefer) must be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s, Hepatitis C, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, seizures, or severe and chronic pain, among others. In addition, their physician must also provide a prescription. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) requires patients and caregivers to register with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) before they can get their prescriptions filled at a licensed dispensary — or a “provisioning center,” as they’re called in Michigan.
Carry and cultivation limits are pretty generous in Michigan. Patients or caregivers can be in possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or maintain 12 plants in an enclosed space. Medical marijuana use is restricted to private property, and patients are not allowed to use marijuana or consume marijuana-infused products in public.
So where does recreational marijuana stand? Well, unfortunately, it hasn’t been decriminalized statewide, though many cities have decriminalized possession or made it a low priority for law enforcement.
Proposal 1: Michigan Marijuana Legalization
If voters choose yes on Proposal 1 on November 6th, adults 21 and over will be able to carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on their person or keep up to 10 ounces stores at home; grow up to 12 plants; and gift marijuana (Merry Christmas!). (Note: The 10-ounce and 12-plant limits are per household, not per person.)
In addition, marijuana entrepreneurs will be able to acquire licenses to grow marijuana and can even run “marijuana microbusinesses.’ Licenses for microbusinesses would allow these small organizations to grow, process, package, and sell its goods directly to consumers. Think microbrewery, but for marijuana. Marijuana smoking lounges may soon be coming to Ann Arbor and Lansing, as well. Proposal 1 would allow municipalities to create zones where it’s ok for adults to enjoy their flower.
Smoking in public places will remain illegal and municipalities will be permitted to ban or limit commercial marijuana businesses.
Unfortunately, Proposal 1 does not have protections for workers who enjoy marijuana. If a company chooses to do so, they will still be able to fire employees based on positive drug tests. In addition, landlords will be allowed to ban smoking in their properties.
What Does Legalization Mean for Michigan Medical Marijuana?
While there was some recent licensing controversy – with almost half of the current medical provisioning centers in the state being told they need to shut down operations unless they complete Step 2 in the licensing process – medical marijuana businesses already licensed in Michigan will have priority when it comes to applying for recreational marijuana licenses. There’s plenty of room for growth in the state, however, and many out-of-state dispensaries are looking to start a new provisioning center.
Currently, there are no restrictions on advertising medical marijuana, however, this may change once recreational use becomes legal. LARA will be tasked with drawing up the rules, which may include marketing restrictions and which may also restrict medical marijuana advertising.
Recreational marijuana will come with its own limits – already, the state has a bill to ban infused beverages and edibles that would appeal to children. For medical patients, though, legalization will likely lead to expanded options and more provisioning centers to help them get the medication they need to manage their conditions.
Current Michigan medical marijuana provisioning centers should definitely be looking into expanding their enterprises and adding recreational marijuana once it becomes legal. The Michigan marijuana market is promising for both continued success in the medical marijuana sector and the soon-to-be adult-use market.
Michigan’s 1st Commercial Cannabis Conference & Expo
If you are thinking of opening a marijuana dispensary or expanding your medical marijuana provisioning center, check out Michigan’s 1st Commercial Cannabis Conference and Expo. The conference is set to run from October 30th to 31st at the Cobo Center in Detroit and is being hosted by Cannabis-Aid. It will be a great opportunity to meet other cannabis professionals as well as investors and licensees.
Foottraffik CEO Guillermo Bravo will be running an important session entitled “How to Market Your Provisioning Center in Michigan” on October 30th at 4:45 in room 140FG. With over 15 years of experience in marketing, Guillermo Bravo has honed in on effective techniques for maximizing conversions for marijuana companies and creating online and offline ROI-based marketing strategies. As the CEO of our successful nationwide dispensary digital marketing agency, he’s well-versed in the ways different states regulate marijuana advertising.
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to discuss marketing your Michigan marijuana provisioning center. Get $100 off your tickets: Buy Now!
In addition to this informative session, Foottraffik will be holding it down in Booth A24. Our team can help you build your online presence through proven, ROI-focused strategies that will help you drive traffic to your brick and mortar location. Be sure to check out our website beforehand—it’s a treasure trove of information. From our Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Dispensary Marketing to our extensive intro to digital marketing, our team is ready to share the latest techniques with you!
Can’t make it to the Conference? Get our FREE eBook: The Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Dispensary Marketing.