Is Marijuana Legal In Michigan
Michigan became the sixth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use with its November 1st, 2018, ballot proposal. But is it legal in all parts of the state? What does this mean for those who have been arrested or convicted under previous laws?
Here’s what you need to know about how cannabis will be regulated and taxed in the Wolverine State.
Marijuana legalization has become a topic across the states, from the west coast to the eastern seaboard. Legislation legalizing possession of small amounts of weed has been handed to the voters deciding on November 8th whether they want to make pot fully legalized across their states. With the passage of Proposition one in Michigan last week, we can add another vital state to that list.
But before you run out to your local dispensary to stock up on some prerolls, there are still plenty more questions than answers surrounding this new law. So here’s everything you need to know about Prop 1 and how it affects current residents of Michigan.
What Is Proposal One All About
Proposition one was passed by roughly 61 percent of voters on Tuesday night. If enacted into law, it would allow adults 21 years old and older to possess limited quantities of weed without needing an ID card or special permit. Those over age 65 would not be affected. Adults could also grow as much medical marijuana at home for personal consumption.
The measure allows municipalities to decide whether they’d instead opt into allowing retail sales. Cities that choose to do so must enact rules around location bans, hours of operation, and minimum prices. Municipalities may join together to form “recovered cities,” where specific policies regarding commercialization apply to multiple jurisdictions within them.
In addition, if an adult wants to buy or sell marijuana outside of their municipality, they will require a license issued through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). These licenses will only be available to applicants showing proof of residency in Michigan for three months before applying.
Those caught violating the new restrictions would face fines between $100 and $500 depending on severity. First-time offenders could also get points added to their driver’s license.
How Much Will You Be Able To Buy And Possess
Under the initiative, people will be able to purchase up to 2 ounces of dried plant per day. They’ll also be allowed to consume edibles containing no more than 10 milligrams of THC, the chemical component responsible for the high associated with cannabis usage. Edible products will include candies, cookies, chocolates, brownie mix, lollipops, chewing gum, pastilles, hard candy, cereal bars, and beverages.
Concentrates refer to highly potent forms of the drug made when plant material is heated above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Hashish refers to oils extracted from plants used to produce concentrates. Possession of fewer than 15 grams of concentrate or hashish will remain illegal.
Vaping devices containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) won’t be subject to regulation under Prop 1, but manufacturers will be required to disclose ingredients and other relevant details to consumers.
If approved, adults will also be permitted to take recreationally produced cannabis oil orally, similar to CBD oil found in foods today. However, these doses cannot exceed 100 milligrams.
People purchasing medicinal marijuana will receive cards stating how often and how long they’re allowed to smoke. This card will have a QR code linked to LARA’s database indicating patients’ registered medical conditions. Patients will then be able to bring their cards along while visiting physicians to help facilitate treatment recommendations.
These cards will expire after seven years. Doctors will continue to prescribe controlled substances to qualifying patients on a case-by-case basis.
The number of dispensaries statewide will decrease if voter approval passes. Currently, 13 licensed establishments are selling recreational marijuana throughout the state. Under Prop 1, each establishment will have the right to stay open until 2022 unless they voluntarily shut down.
Only four of these stores currently offer delivery services. Delivery companies operating in Michigan under Prop 1 will be restricted to transportation fees based on weight limits set forth by state regulators. For example, someone delivering two pounds of product to Grand Rapids may charge half price compared to someone going to Detroit.
Delivery companies will also be prohibited from advertising prices higher than those listed online.
Where Can I Get It (And How Hard?)
Anyone over 18 years old in Michigan can legally obtain medical marijuana from a physician or caregiver via a registered application. Once signed off, cards authorizing patients to acquire medical cannabis will be valid for five years.
Anyone interested in buying recreational weed must first pass background checks conducted by LARA. Applicants will be screened against criminal history reports provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Anyone deemed unfit will not be eligible to register as part of the program.
Patients will be given access to several different strains of cannabis grown specifically for medical purposes. Other types of buds might be prescribed to treat specific ailments ranging from anxiety to insomnia.
However, people seeking recreation cannabis instead will find themselves frustrated by a lack of variety. Recreational users will be limited to low potency varieties of Sativa and Indica. Some experts say these varieties don’t adequately relieve symptoms related to pain due to their tendency towards couch-lock effects. Instead, doctors should recommend higher quality weed varieties like Northern Lights #3 and Purple Kush.
Medical marijuana remains cheaper than alcohol and tobacco because production costs tend to be lower. According to the ACLU of Michigan, the average cost of obtaining medical marijuana will increase by approximately 25% once Prop 1 goes into effect. Taxation rates may change accordingly, though proponents argue that increased revenue from taxation will offset possible increases in medical costs.
Will There Be Any Restrictions On Where Or When I Use It?
While recreational buyers won’t enjoy the same wide array of choices as medical marijuana customers, they will certainly have options. Dispensaries will be required to display signs displaying maximum weights per unit and the total amount of purchases purchased during 24 hours.
Recreational users will also be barred from consuming cannabis anywhere smoking isn’t already allowed. This rule will fall under public parks, playgrounds, beaches, indoor facilities, casinos, and even vehicles. Violators could face penalties, including warnings, citations, and possibly jail time.
Do I Need A Card/Id To Purchase Weed Now That This Passed?
No. While state officials may collect identification documents from prospective marijuana clients, none will need to present them during transactions.
Instead, everyone involved will have to rely on self-reporting. Retailers will keep records of every transaction using RFIDs embedded in packaging. Data collected includes customer registration numbers, dates and times of visits, and quantities bought. If retailers suspect crimes are being committed, they may contact authorities.
This system is supposed to prevent black market activity, which opponents of Prop 1 worried would happen if the initiative passed. However, critics also point out that unscrupulous businesses could manipulate data to inflate sales figures and rake in massive profits.
It’s worth noting that marijuana producers aren’t immune from government regulations either. Companies like TikTok-owned CannaCraft are already facing backlash from federal agencies over concerns about misleading marketing practices and safety standards. Regulators fear these issues wouldn’t necessarily disappear just because weed becomes more widely accessible.
For now, however, Prop 1 supporters maintain that stricter controls on distribution will help create safer experiences for both customers and employees alike.
What Other Questions Does Everyone Have About The New Law?
Taxes! Like most places in America, Michigan taxes cannabis sales heavily. According to the nonpartisan tax office website MiDotOrg, the state taxes marijuana growers at 12%, processors at 5%, wholesalers at 4%, retailers at 3%, transporters at 2%, and cultivators at 0%. Consumers will pay slightly more at checkout, thanks to additional excise taxes.
Proponents hope that increasing the overall burden placed on distributors will deter individuals from participating in the illicit trade. Critics claim taxing marijuana unfairly targets poor communities since money generated from more significant sales tends to go disproportionately into corporate coffers.
Regardless of opinions on potential inequities, it’s likely Prop 1 will raise millions of dollars annually for schools and roads. Voters chose to dedicate a portion of existing sales tax revenues toward public projects in 2012. Since 2016, the state legislature has allocated these funds directly to school districts instead.
Though the specifics of how tax hikes will affect particular programs haven’t yet been determined, advocates believe that Prop 1 will generate enough revenue to cover ongoing road maintenance and construction.
Opponents worry that the majority of funding dedicated to Prop 1 will end up lining the pockets of wealthy investors instead of providing tangible benefits to Michiganders. This argument seems especially true considering that nearly 70% of voters supported legalization.
“I think [the success] speaks for itself,” said Kevin Sabet, president of the anti-pot group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. He criticized the initiative for failing to provide clear definitions of key terms, such as what constitutes a marijuana retailer.