As of 2008, medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan as approved by a large majority of voters. As of November 6th, 2018, recreational marijuana use in Michigan has also been legalized. Michigan marijuana laws also legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over. However, once possession exceeds 2.5 ounces, a person may face a civil infraction and a maximum fine of $500.
Over 55% of Michigan voters approved a ballot measure known as Proposal 1. This measure legalized marijuana for recreational use. Prior to Proposal 1, Michigan law dictated that possessing any amount of marijuana was a misdemeanor. This misdemeanor carried a maximum fine of $2,000 and one year in jail. Several Michigan cities, such as Detroit, had already decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Proposal 1 also legalized the growth, distribution, and sale of industrial hemp.
Because of Michigan marijuana laws, it is unlikely that you will be arrested for marijuana use if you are over the age of 21 and do not possess large quantities. Under federal law, the use and possession of marijuana remain illegal, and marijuana is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. It is important to note that the federal government has not yet prosecuted any states for legalizing marijuana related activities.
What Do I Need to Know About Changes to Michigan’s Marijuana Law?
In the United States, there has been rapid changes concerning the medicinal and/or recreational use of marijuana. As previously discussed, as of 2018 Michigan has significantly changed their marijuana laws. Once again the current legal possession amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 in Michigan are as follows:
- Up to a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana outside one’s home;
- Up to a maximum of 10 ounces of marijuana at one’s home;
- Up to a maximum of 15 grams of cannabis concentrates; and
- Up to twelve (“12”) cannabis plants cultivated in one’s home in a closed facility not in the view of the public.
It is important to note that although recreational use of marijuana is legal, public consumption of cannabis is still illegal in Michigan. Further, driving while under the influence of marijuana is also illegal. Therefore, if you are consuming marijuana you should be sure to follow the laws concerning consumption of marijuana. This means that you should consume marijuana on private property.
When Did Michigan’s Marijuana Law Go into Effect?
Once again, over 55% of Michigan voters approved a ballot measure known as Proposal 1, which legalized recreational cannabis. Prior to the legalization of recreational cannabis, Michigan legalized medical marijuana ten years prior in November 2008.
Although the Proposal was passed in November of 2018, the sales of cannabis officially began in Michigan on December 1, 2019. At the time when the sales of cannabis became official, there was a lack of supply in the state. Additionally, the majority of cities in Michigan chose to opt out of recreational sales, including the city of Detroit.
Some cities, such as Royal Oak, have since recently announced marijuana ordinances approving the recreational sale of marijuana. However, other cities, such as Detroit have continued their ban on recreational marijuana sales in the city. Importantly, the temporary ban on recreational sales in Detroit is set to expire at the end of July 2020, pending an extension of the ban by the Detroit City Council.
What Is Michigan’s Stance on Marijuana?
As can be seen by the discussion above, Michigan voters have made clear their stance on medical and recreational use of marijuana. However, that stance was not an overwhelming majority and many cities and towns continue to ban the sale of recreational marijuana in specific areas.
Therefore, if you are looking to open a dispensary, it is important that you consult with a Michigan medical marijuana license lawyer. An experienced Michigan medical marijuana license lawyer can ensure that you follow both the state and local laws concerning the sale, cultivation, and transportation of marijuana in your area.
How Are Michigan’s Rules for Recreational Marijuana Different from the Medical Rules?
As mentioned above, consumption of recreational marijuana in public is not allowed. This is also true for the consumption of medical marijuana. The biggest difference between the rules regarding medical and recreational marijuana is the amount of possession that is allowed. Unlike the recreational possession limits above, medical marijuana patients are allowed to possess the following amounts of marijuana:
- Up to a maximum of 16 ounces of marijuana infused products in solid form;
- Up to a maximum of 36 ounces of marijuana infused products in liquid form; and
- Up to a maximum of 7 grams of marijuana infused products in gaseous form.
Once again in order to possess the amounts and forms of marijuana above, you will have to suffer from a state approved debilitating condition such as:
- Alzheimer’s Disease;
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”);
- Severe chronic pain, or muscle spasms;
- Or any other number of conditions approved by the State.
What Is the Legal Age to Smoke Weed in Michigan?
The legal age for recreational cannabis consumption in Michigan at this time is over the age of 21. However, the parent or legal guardian of a minor, or someone under the age of 18, may submit a Minor Application Packet under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (“MMMP”) to allow a minor to consume marijuana in Michigan for medicinal purposes.
Is it Illegal to Smoke Weed Around a Child in Michigan?
Because marijuana consumption is legal for adults over the age of 21 or persons with medical qualified medical conditions, there may be weed consumption around a minor. For example, a parent may choose to consume weed at home around their child.
In the past, the consumption of weed may have been used against the parent of that child in a Child Protective Services (“CPS”) case. However, as long as the parent does not abuse the substance or violate the legal consumption and possession laws, it is legal to smoke weed around minors. On the other hand, there are many local laws that prevent the consumption of weed in certain areas, such as within 1000 feet of a school.
How Much Weed Can You Possess in Michigan?
The legal possession amounts for marijuana for both recreational and medical use are outlined above. There are additional laws concerning the possession of marijuana in Michigan that you should be familiar with. For example, it is important to understand that transporting recreational and medical marijuana in Michigan is now legal for adults of age or qualified patients.
However, the marijuana or marijuana infused products must be sealed in a labeled package and transported in the trunk of the vehicle, or in another area that is not readily accessible. Penalties for violations of failing to properly transfer the marijuana include civil fines of up to $250 for the first violation.
What About Michigan Residents Who have Already Been Convicted of Marijuana-Related Crimes?
In short, if Michigan residents had already been convicted of marijuana-related crimes prior to the legalization of recreational marijuana, their crimes are not automatically pardoned or expunged. Thus, Michigan residents with marijuana-related convictions did not automatically have a path to clearing their criminal history with the passing of the new law.
However, the Michigan House passed legislation in November 2019, which sought to drastically change expungement laws in Michigan to make it easier for the thousands of persons convicted with marijuana-related crimes to clear their criminal records. The legislation includes those who were convicted before the legalization for recreational use in 2018.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I am Facing Charges Under Michigan’s Marijuana Law?
If you are facing charges under Michigan’s marijuana law or have questions regarding Michigan’s current state or local laws on marijuana, it is in your best interest to contact a well qualified and skilled Michigan drug lawyer. An experienced marijuana lawyer can ensure that your questions are answered, as well as represent you in court as necessary.
Additionally, if you have questions regarding the business laws surrounding the sale of marijuana, such as the sale of recreational marijuana in Detroit, a local attorney such as a Detroit marijuana business lawyer could assist you in obtaining the proper authority to operate a dispensary.