The 5 W’s of Michigan Marijuana - July 2019
November 2018 Michigan resident’s voted to legalize marijuana for use recreationally, and it looks like we might be able to purchase it a year after it was voted on.
The regulations and laws surrounding marijuana in Michigan have changed over the last year, and the idea of recreational use any time soon dramatically increased not only with the passage of the new law but also with the election of our current governor and Attorney General. Governor Whitmer has made sweeping reforms that make it easier for business to operate and for residents to use.
Just this week we saw a new set of rules released that define more about the business side of recreational marijuana, but this has an impact on the consumer as well.
Who - Recreationally you will still need to be 21, and be able to prove it, to be able to purchase marijuana. There is no change there. Medical cardholders have different requirements, and it is recommended you keep your card nearby and valid if you are under 21.
What - The new rules could allow for medical marijuana to be used for sales on the recreational side, however, there have been reported supply shortages on the medical side, so that may not happen. Once recreational storefronts open, will there be marijuana products to be sold?
When - Adult use and possession are legal now, but there is nowhere to purchase it. Applications for recreational licensing begins November 1, and we could see locations open as early as later that same month. It could still take some time for the marijuana business to take off and flourish within the communities. Expect to see more of a slow trickle of businesses opening.
Where - This is the interesting part! The new rules also allow for recreational sales to occur in the same store as medical marijuana. The products will have separate areas and are taxed differently. There will likely be different potency levels available to cardholders and recreational users. Medical marijuana has a potency level of 50mg THC per serving of an edible product, and levels for recreational are still being worked on. If we are modeled after other state’s levels we could be looking at 10 mg per serving which is what Colorado’s level is.
We have other answers to the where in the new rules. Of course, you can do as you choose and smoke wherever and whenever in your home, provided you do not have a landlord that prohibits it. If that is the case, then opt for edibles. You will still not be able to smoke anywhere in public or as you are casually strolling down the road, however, the new rules have provided for special permits to be obtained to allow for use at concerts and festivals. If a locality permits them, a license may be obtained for smoking lounges and clubs. The caveat is that no food or alcohol may be sold. Can you say Grubhub?
I have seen comments often from people who are not fully informed on the issue of communities banning recreational marijuana. The communities cannot ban the use of marijuana in your home. What they are banning are sales in their community. Somewhat concerning is that more than 600 communities - or approximately 4.7 million Michigan residents live in communities where the cannabis industry has been banned. Some of these bans are temporary as the laws and regulations unfold, and the communities that have not made a decision have until November 1 to ban marijuana businesses.
Other noteworthy information - Delivery will be available to those 21 and older, however, drive thru and internet sales will be banned.