(Last update: January 13, 2020)
Medical Marijuana: Yes
Recreational Marijuana: Yes
In-Home Cultivation: -
Adult-use stores continue to open; expungement bill awaits Senate action
On December 1, a little over a year after voters approved Prop 1 to end marijuana prohibition, legal marijuana businessesinitiated sales to adults 21 and older in Michigan. Reports indicate that consumers purchased more than $1.6 million worth of products in the first week. Regulators, however, received criticism for not ensuring an adequate supply of marijuana remains for medical patients.
In November last year, legislators in Michigan’s House of Representatives passed a package of bills designed to expand access to expungement, including for an estimated 235,000 residents with low-level marijuana convictions on their records. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation soon. If approved, the proposals would go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has expressed strong support for clearing marijuana records in the past.
Previously in 2019, Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order establishing the Marijuana Regulatory Agency within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The new agency released regulations to steer the implementation of the 2018 voter-approved law that legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older.
The rules include several forward-thinking provisions, including the creation of licenses for on-site cannabis consumption areas and temporary events, so long as they are permitted by the local town or city government. The guidelines also address how the agency will work to promote participation in the cannabis industry by communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition. You can read a summary of the new rules summarized by MMP here.
Michigan becomes the 10th state to legalize marijuana for adults!
In November 2018, Proposal 1 prevailed with 55.9% of the vote, making Michigan the 10th state to legalize marijuana for adults and the first state to do so in the Midwest.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
In 2008, 63% of voters approved a medical marijuana measure. Like other medical marijuana laws that passed prior to Pres. Barack Obama’s election (which led to the federal government adopting a hands-off approach on well-regulated medical marijuana programs), Michigan’s original law provided clear protections for patients and caregivers, but did not establish regulations for the businesses that made medical marijuana available to them.
In 2016, lawmakers passed three bills that together overhauled the state’s medical marijuana program. While an improvement in many ways, it was not without its controversies, particularly for those businesses that were operating since voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in 2008. For a summary of many of the changes, click here.
Current marijuana laws in Michigan
Possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older. Within a residence, adults may grow up to 12 marijuana plants and/or possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana (provided that any amount greater than 2.5 ounces is stored under lock and key). Click here for a full summary by MMP of Proposal 18-1, Michigan’s legalization law.
Medical marijuana is permitted. An individual may register as a medical marijuana patient if his or her doctor certifies that the individual suffers from one or more of the following conditions:
- Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Crohn’s disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Nail Patella
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic or debilitating nausea
- Severe pain and chronic pain
- Seizures (including epilepsy)
- Persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis)
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Parkinson's disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injury
- Tourette's syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
Patients can obtain medical marijuana from their registered designated primary caregiver or grow their own.
Timeline of marijuana policy reform in Michigan
2008: Voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from serious health issues.
2016: Michigan’s legislature enacted a law expanding the state’s existing medical marijuana program to include licensing and regulation of medical marijuana businesses.
2018: Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing marijuana for adults.