Michigan marijuana is now legal for adults to consume and grow. But where can they buy it?
The answer is nowhere. Michigan marijuana is legal for adults to grow, consume, and even “gift” to one another now. Yet there isn’t a single dispensary plan in place yet.
This may read similar to another article I wrote regarding Massachusetts legalization. They had a similar problem establishing a legal marketplace for consumers. While Massachusetts has finally opened two dispensaries for the entire state after two years of legalization, Michigan is poised to move more quickly.
Michigan Marijuana Laws
While Michigan has legalized cannabis for adult use, I wouldn’t go packing your bag for a vacation to the Great Lakes quite yet. Adults can grow 12 of their own plants (twice as many as Colorado) and possess up to 10 ounces in their homes. There’s a line in Proposition 1 that allows adults to “purchase” recreational cannabis. But there is none to buy.
Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont all did something similar. All these states have legalized cannabis for adults, but have no market to legally purchase cannabis. Basically, because of poorly written laws, these states have given a free pass to private market businesses.
Not Getting Stuck
The Michigan marijuana market is ahead of the curve, even if just slightly. Proposition 1 included a mandatory deadline for establishing a regulated market.
A year from now, a plan should be approved and in place to begin legal sales of recreational cannabis in Michigan. An additional rider was included that allows people to apply for licensing directly through the municipality. This acts as an assurance that the local governments stay on track.
To elaborate, Massachusetts had no such deadline or rider in place to ensure a timely roll out of a regulated marketplace. Because of this, local municipalities that did not approve of the state’s decision could refuse applications simply on the basis of not wanting legal cannabis in their town.
Michigan’s rider in Proposition 1 will guarantee that local governments don’t stand in the way of legalization. So while Maine’s governor fights legalization tooth and nail, and Vermont has no plans for a legal market yet, Michigan is already planning ahead.
A Big Step For Cannabis
Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize cannabis for adult use. Other states in the region will certainly be watching to see how the market turns out.
For now, however, state residents craving some fresh Michigan marijuana will either have to grow it themselves or buy it on the private market. So for now — even though cannabis is legal — unless you’re growing it, you’re still breaking the law in Michigan. Hopefully that changes soon!