Marijuana Is Legal In Michigan. What Is Allowed, And Can Ohioans Partake?
On November 6, 2018, marijuana became fully legal under Michigan law. This means that both medicinal marijuana (which has been available since 2016) and recreational marijuana will be available throughout the Wolverine State, beginning as early as December (more on that below).
So what does this good news mean for Michiganders, not to mention their Ohioan neighbors? We'll explore.
From blue to green in just one night
The new law, which overwhelmingly passed with 56% in favor, 44% opposed, will go active roughly ten days after the election results have been officially verified, which should be only a few short days from this writing (Nov. 12, 2018).
Naturally, it will likely take a few months (or a year) longer in order for the cannabis industry to officially arrive in Michigan. Permits, licensees and other stipulations are sure to slow the process, though. But since the MMJ infrastructure already exists, and cannabis entrepreneurs are in the area, the process should go a little smoother than Ohio's medical marijuana implementation.
Below is a breakdown of what the state allows:
Allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.
Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.
Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, including growers, processors, transporters and retailers.
Allow municipalities to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.
Permit commercial sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles through state-licensed retailers, subject to a new 10-percent tax earmarked for schools, road and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.
Some positives to Michigan's cannabis law
It's exciting to see that Michigan allows home grows. And not just a handful of plants, but 12 marijuana plants! If you are a thriving botanist on the side, you can legally add growing cannabis to your list of hobbies. Presumably, home grows would be technically legal from the moment the election results are verified and the ten-day window passes.
The state allows a decent amount of marijuana to be held in your own residence -- 10 ounces. Not sure how this will work with home grows, which will certainly weigh more than that. But 10 ounces is a nice amount of cannabis to have at once, and it bests some other states with recreational programs.
There is also a state licensing/testing system. While this will inevitably slow marijuana from entering Michigan right away, having an established system of testing is paramount to guaranteeing pure, pesticide-free cannabis. No more sketchy dank weed that's been sprayed with chemicals to increase potency. Michigan rec weed will be grown to a higher standard, not unlike medical marijuana.
Some negatives to Michigan's cannabis law
Not every city was pleased to see that marijuana passed in Michigan. Addressing this issue, the new cannabis law factored their distaste for the sticky herb. As such, cities will be allowed to ban the sales of marijuana. This means that while you can likely grow in one of these cities, and possess cannabis, you will not be able to visit a dispensary in that city as they are banned.
The 10% tax on cannabis sales is also pretty high, which may come as something of a shock from some consumers. Thankfully, these taxes have been allocated to benefit the state of Michigan as a whole, with the money going to schools, roads and other elements key to keeping Michigan's infrastructure healthy.
The age limit might also come as a frustration for some. Cannabis should be safe to consume recreationally starting at 18. But like alcohol, marijuana is allowed only for those 21 and older. If a child wishes to use cannabis to treat seizures or chronic pain, their authorized parent or guardian will need to obtain a medical marijuana card from the state.
Frankly, if you need marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is better to seek out an MMJ card, even if the state has a recreational program. Medical marijuana tends to run cheaper in areas where cannabis is legal recreationally and medicinally. And medical marijuana will be better geared to a patients needs.
Word of caution to Ohioans
So Ohioans can just hop the border and pick up some sweet, smelly reefer, right? Well ... a word of warning: It is illegal to cross state borders with cannabis as it constitutes a federal crime (trafficking). People caught with marijuana from Michigan will face not only applicable state penalties, but potential federal crimes on top of it.
Naturally, this doesn't mean that all Ohioans will listen. Nor does it mean there will be border patrol agents along the Ohio-Michigan border diligently checking every car that happens to drive across state lines. But it does mean there are penalties for doing so, and it is important to note that to our fellow Ohioans.
If you are a medical marijuana user, the same applies to you. Unfortunately, at this time, Ohio does not share any reciprocity between states. This means that while you may be a medical marijuana Ohio patient, you will still not be allowed to transport marijuana from Michigan over to Ohio.
That being said, people are welcome to enjoy cannabis throughout Michigan, whether you're a resident or not. As a result, we imagine Michigan should see a significant uptick in tourism over the next few years.
If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.