The cannabis laws in Michigan, the state which is the home of the well-known Detroit rock city have had a long and interesting history. Today, marijuana is decriminalized for recreational use in the country with possession limits in place to ensure that individuals are not involved in illegal sale and distribution of large quantities of cannabis.
We will take a look at how today’s cannabis laws came to be in Michigan!
History of Cannabis Laws in Michigan
The biggest change in the cannabis laws in Michigan happened on 1st November 2018, when the state voted to decriminalize marijuana and make it legal for recreational use. This made Michigan the first state in the Midwest to decriminalize marijuana and allow its recreational use.
According to the cannabis laws in Michigan, everyone who is over the age of 21 has the right to consume marijuana and cultivate it at home in a place which is not visible to the public, However, this law has a limit imposed in terms of possession which is set to 2.5 ounces legally and in public. For cultivation, the limit is set to 12 plants.
Medical marijuana had been made available for use in this state 10 years before its recreational use was approved by the state. In 2018, the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative was approved, gaining 63% of the votes. If a person had a qualifying condition which was confirmed by a physician, they gained the right to be made a part of the Medical Marijuana Registry and use medical cannabis, yet they weren’t allowed to use the medical cannabis in public or drive under the influence.
Even though across the state marijuana wasn’t made legal for recreational use until 2018, several communities, town, and cities have already done that autonomously, with Ann Arbor being the first one to do that in 1972. Another town that made this decision was Keego Harbor in 2015. The limitation was set to up to 1 ounce for adults over 21.
Cannabis Legalization Michigan via Detroit Free Press
The cannabis laws in Michigan have appointed The Michigan Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) with the goal to establish a system to license cannabis facilities. The facilities fall under five categories: growers, processors, transporters, compliance facilities, and provisioning centers. This system was established in 2016, prior to marijuana being made legal for recreational use.
The initiative for cannabis legalization for recreational use gained a lot of attention in November 2017. The pro-cannabis advocacy group called Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol was a success.
Interestingly enough, the legislation in the state of Michigan that deal with marijuana is named the Marihuana Tax Act. The spelling of marijuana is different due to the fact that this act was first passed in 1937 when the spelling was marihuana instead of marijuana.
Where Can You Buy Cannabis in Michigan?
At the moment, there are no certified legal dispensaries for recreational users of marijuana. However, the cannabis laws in Michigan are working to set the rules for commercial growing, processing and selling of recreational cannabis and they should be in place by the end of 2019. As for medical users, the sell and home cultivation are regulated under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.
Cannabis Legal in Michigan via Foottraffik
State-licensed dispensaries are known under the name “provision centers”. The cannabis laws in Michigan forbid for provision centers to call themselves dispensaries and they are not allowed to use the terms in their advertising campaign or on their storefronts.
As stated in a section of the cannabis laws in Michigan, a “provision center” is a commercial retail property which is recognized by the state and allowed to sell medical marijuana to users who are registered for the medical marijuana program of the state. The term is chosen to demonstrate that the provisional centers are regulated and recognized by the state.
Where Can You Consume Cannabis in Michigan?
Individuals over the age of 21 and medical users can freely consume marijuana in private places. Marijuana consumption is illegal in public. Consuming marijuana in a parked vehicle on parking which is not privately owned by the individual is considered illegal since that is regarded as consumption in public. Driving under the influence is also illegal and it is regulated by Michigan’s Drugged Driving Laws. There are some limitations for universities as well that receive federal funding. They have to comply to make campuses marijuana-free and treat it like other drugs, meaning that possession and consumption of marijuana on university campuses (unless the campuses are private and agreed otherwise) is illegal.
Marijuana can be transported in the limits indicated by the law, but only in a sealed container and in the trunk of the car. The cannabis might be placed elsewhere apart from the trunk, but it mustn’t be within a hand’s reach while the vehicle is in operation. Failure to abide by these rules might result in $250 civil fine.
For both recreational user and medical users, distributing or traveling with marijuana outside of the country is strictly prohibited.
Legal Marijuana Sale in Michigan via Detroit Free Press
Possession Limits in Michigan
For recreational cannabis users, the cannabis laws in Michigan state that they can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and half an ounce of marijuana concentrate. Home cultivation for recreational use is legal as well and it is limited to 12 plants. People who grow their own cannabis can harvest it in their own property, but the total amount shouldn’t exceed 10 ounces or around 280 grams. Selling cannabis without a license is illegal, however, growers can gift small amounts of marijuana as long as it is not done in exchange for money or gods.
For medical users, it is allowed for them to own up to 1 ounce or around 30 grams of marijuana for personal use. They are also allowed to possess marijuana-infused product at the same amount – 1 ounce. Home cultivation is also allowed for medical users and they can grow up to 12 plants. However, the cannabis laws in Michigan are set to go through some changes beginning on 6th December 2019. With the new regulations, individuals will be allowed to possess a higher amount s of cannabis regardless if they are a recreational or a medical user. Patients who are registered as medical users but are under the age of 21 would still need to comply with the existing limit of 1 ounce.
The new cannabis laws in Michigan will allow possession of up to 16 ounces or around 450 grams of marijuana-infused products in solid form, 7 grams of marijuana-infused products in the form of gas and 36 fluid ounces for marijuana infused-products in the form of liquid.
Recreational Cannabis in Michigan via Wikileaf
These regulations would also apply to the appointed caregivers of patients and they can buy and cultivate marijuana for the needs of their patients in accordance with the details stated on the patient’s application. When it comes to home cultivation, if the caregiver grows marijuana on behalf of the patient, the limit is set to 12 plants and it has to be done in a closed and private space away from the public.
How To Register as a Medical Marijuana User?
For a person to qualify as a medical marijuana user, they need to be at least 18 years of age and to have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition. Caregivers need to be at least 21 years of age and to have a clean criminal record in regards to violent crimes and drug-related offenses. In contrast to a lot of states where caregivers can only have one patient they look after, Michigan allows the maximum of 5 qualifying patients per caregiver.
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Program recognizes the following conditions as qualifying:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Crohn’s disease
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristics of epilepsy
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristics of multiple sclerosis
Cannabis in Michigan via Hemp Beach
For a patient to qualify as a medical marijuana user and receive a medical marijuana identification card, first, they need a letter firm a qualified physician to confirm the conditions an explain why medical marijuana would be beneficial for the patient. Qualifying physicians in Michigan are not required to take additional training to be recognized by the state, yet they need to have a bona fide relationship with the patient.
The applicant will need to show a valid proof of residence such as a state ID card, driver’s license and similar.
The application needs to be submitted together with the recommendation from the physician and if approved, the patient is allowed to possess, buy and cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.
The application fee for becoming recognized as a medical marijuana user is $60, with an additional $25 fee for the primary caregiver. During the application process, proof of residency for the caregiver needs to be supplied as well.
In order for the medical marijuana identification card to be recognized by authorities, the person needs to show proof of identification together with the medical marijuana identification card.
Cannabis Lab Testing in Michigan
According to the cannabis laws in Michigan, marijuana which is made to be sold to medical patients needs to go through the testing process before being approved for sale. The cannabis testing labs in Michigan are testing the samples for the following:
- Moisture content
- Potency analysis
- Tetrahydrocannabinol level
- Tetrahydrocannabinol acid level
- Cannabidiol and cannabidiol acid levels
- Foreign matter inspection
- Microbial and mycotoxin screening
- Chemical residue
- Metals screening
- Residual solvents levels
- Terpene analysis
- Water activity content
If a sample does not pass the tests, regardless if it is the heavy metal, pesticide chemical residue, mycotoxin, microbial or residual solvent levels test, the remaining of the same batch is not approved for use and needs to be destroyed. Producers need to provide a certificate to show that they have acted upon this regulation and that they have destroyed the entire quantity of the batch in question.
Medical Marijuana Growing in Michigan via Detroit Free Press
Cannabis Penalties in Michigan
Even though cannabis is legal, the cannabis laws in Michigan imply punishment for people who possess more marijuana than it is legally allowed and those who are cultivating marijuana in large quantities with the intention to sell.
If caught possessing more marijuana than the law allows, if the cannabis is for personal use then there are not any serious consequences and the offender can only get a $500 fine. However, in cases where people are illegally growing large quantities and they are caught with, for example, 45kg of usable marijuana or are growing 200 plants, the punishments can be really great. Cases like these are considered as felonies and the offender can face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10.000.000. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also regarded as an offense and depending on the town or city, a person can face a $100 fine and suspended driver’s license for 6 months.
Obviously, the cannabis laws in Michigan are liberating and fair on all citizens, regardless if they are medical or recreational users. Hopefully, more states will recognize that this can prove to be a good impact on people and follow the footsteps of this state.