The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act took effect Dec. 6, 2018, and the change throughout the state mainly involved the legality of having marijuana in one’s possession and the ability to grow it yourself.
Michigan adults age 21 and older can now be in possession of 2.5 ounces of dried flower. Meanwhile, they can store up to 10 ounces at home – enough for roughly 500 joints. For those who hope to grow their own, they can have up to 12 plants. Smoking marijuana is still not permitted in public, and it may be prohibited by landlords and businesses as well.
The process to see retail locations for marijuana purchase will be more prolonged before results are seen. The regulatory and licensing details will take some time to finalize, and the legislation gives that process until Dec. 2019 to complete. Also, municipal governments will have that time to decide if they want to prohibit sales in their local area. The legislation does specify that those governments are free to make their own decisions regarding local sales and retail storefronts.
The medical dispensaries were crowded on Dec. 6, as some residents were under the misconception that they would be permitted to purchase marijuana under the new regulations. This is not the case, and many were turned away. With the newly changed legislation, an individual with a medical card can purchase marijuana and legally pass it on to a friend that is of legal age. This is due to a loophole that allows gifting of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. This may be a welcome loophole to state residents as the Christmas holidays draw closer.
However, those without a medical card will still not be able to purchase marijuana in the state or to bring it in from Canada, despite the country’s legalization measures that took effect in October.
A judge released a public service announcement intended to clear up some misconceptions. In the meantime, the newly effected legislation may be a step forward to marijuana in both Michigan and the Midwest as a whole, but it has a long way to go before the full benefits can take effect for the average state resident.