What Will Recreational Marijuana in Michigan Look Like?


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  • Recreational Marijuana for those age 21+
  • Municipalities will retain control to regulate commercial licensure, but will not have the ability to ban marijuana alltogether
  • Public consumption will not be legal

The Michigan cannabis community is growing at an epic pace.  With a similar timeline to Colorado, the country’s first recreational market, it was only a matter of time for Michigan to follow suit.  The signatures have been gathered. The ballot language finalized.  But the question remains: how will recreational marijuana actually work in Michigan?

Despite multiple opinion polls putting the approval rating of the ballot initiative at over 60%, the biggest barrier to its passing is voter awareness.  In an attempt to combat this, we have assembled what will be legal under these new laws, and what will be illegal.

What’s Legal

  • If you are of age, you will be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants in your private home, regardless of the number of adults living there .  This rule does not change from what is already in place for medical growers, except this marijuana may be used for recreational purposes. The plants must be out of public view, and may only be outdoors in a secure area.  Furthermore, you will not be allowed to sell any product you grow, as residential zoned properties cannot be zoned for commercial cannabis production.
  • Any person 21 years and older can have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower or 2.5 grams of concentrate on their person at any given time (that’s a lot).  Possession of marijuana would not be allowed on the grounds of a K-12 school or federally owned land, as marijuana is still a federally controlled substance.
  • Personal possession of marijuana is capped at 2.5 ounces, but you are allowed to store up to 10 ounces at home.  Any amount over 2.5 ounces must be kept in a locked safe or lock box.
  • You can give marijuana as a gift, provided that both the giver and receiver are over 21. The only restriction on the amount of marijuana gifted comes from the amount you are legally allowed to possess, which is 2.5 ounces.
  • The ballot initiative brings with it a new form of marijuana business: the Marijuana Microbusiness. (Backlinked GR article) This new license type was based off of the idea of microbreweries, and allows for smaller businesses to be started.  One of the main reasons this sixth license type was added is to allow for vertically integrated businesses owned by Michigan residents
  • Like the system currently in place for medical marijuana, each municipality will have the ability to opt in or out of the recreational marijuana initiative.  Each municipality would also still have full control over the amount of licenses allowed, and what zoning types are allowed to become marijuana facilities.
  • Business owners still have the right to drug test for marijuana, and fire existing employees or refuse to hire someone based off of the results.  The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol publicly said they felt business owners still deserved the right to do so, and industries like trucking would still be required to drug test.
  • Rental property owners would retain the right to ban marijuana smoking at their properties, just as they can do with tobacco products.  Tenants would still be able to consume marijuana in edible form.
  • Proposition-1 would allow municipalities to zone areas for the creation of cannabis lounges, similar to a hookah or cigar lounge.  These cannabis lounges would not be considered public property, which would allow for legal consumption.

What’s Illegal

  • Driving while under the influence of marijuana will remain strictly illegal.  That being said, this is a very ambiguous provision, as there is no national standard to determine what an unsafe level of marijuana would be.  Furthermore, marijuana can be found in your system for three or more weeks after consumption, so the only way to determine if someone is high while driving is a field sobriety test. Blood, eye, and saliva tests may prove to be valid in the near future.
  • Public consumption is also illegal.  This is a big one for non-users, as the law will be in place so they are not disturbed by others consumption.
  • Businesses in Michigan would not be allowed to gift marijuana when paired with another purchase.  This “gifting economy” comes from Washington D.C. and Maine, where retail sales of marijuana is illegal.  Businesses simply avoid this by gifting pot to their customers.
  • Edibles would not be able to be in colorful packaging, or in the shape of any type of candy that a child could confuse.
  • Shipping marijuana to anyone, even within Michigan, will still remain illegal.  This is because the post office is run by the federal government.
  • It won’t be possible for marijuana to be completely banned in any given Michigan municipality.  As previously stated, municipalities will have the ability to control commercial marijuana production, but cannot enforce these restrictions on those who grow their own. Possession of marijuana cannot be banned at the municipal level either.

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