Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 on Nov. 6, 2018, to allow adult-use consumption of cannabis in the state, making it the first state in the Midwestern U.S. to permit medical and recreational cannabis. On Dec. 6, 2018, limited possession of cannabis became legal, but there are no provisioning centers yet licensed to sell legal recreational marijuana (rules will be developed in 2019 and applications for adult-use licenses will be made available prior to Dec. 6, 2019). The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces, or 71 grams, of cannabis legally in public, as well as to grow up to 12 plants at home.
On July 3, 2019, the state issued emergency rules that announced its marihuana regulatory agency to oversee the regulation and taxation, adding more administrative rules to Michigan’s Marihuana Act. It was passed via an executive order from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and are in effect for six months. The agency will also be in charge of new initiatives including social equity programs, creating opportunities in regions that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, as well as on-site social consumption plans.
Previously, Michigan voters approved the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative, or the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, with 63% of the vote on Nov. 6, 2008. The measure legalized medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients. It allowed seriously and terminally ill patients to use marijuana with a doctor’s approval and permitted qualifying patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of medical marijuana. Also called Proposal 1 like the adult-use question eight years later, the initiative also established a patient registry system and placed prohibitions on public use, as well as driving under the influence of cannabis.
Several Michigan cities and communities have decriminalized recreational use and limited possession over the years. The first was Ann Arbor in 1972. In 2015, Keego Harbor decriminalized recreational use and possession of up to 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, for adults 21 and older.
The Michigan Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) was signed into law on September 2016 to implement a system of licensing and regulation for five categories of cannabis facilities: growers, processors, secured transporters, safety compliance facilities, and provisioning centers. The MMFLA was a direct response to the illegal status of dispensing facilities after a 2013 state Supreme Court ruling.
Michigan’s legislation uses an out-of-date spelling of marijuana that harks back to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. In order to change the spelling to the more contemporary and widely accepted “marijuana,” the Legislature would have to pass a law.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) is a state registry program of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR), which operates under the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The mission statement of the MMMP Division is “to assure that the registration process is conducted efficiently and effectively, consistent with all statutes and administrative rules pertaining to the MMMP.” The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Division implements the facilities licensing and regulatory framework of the MMFLA.
Where is it Safe to Purchase?
Certified patients may purchase medical cannabis from state-licensed provisioning centers. In compliance with the MMFLA, provisioning centers are restricted from referring to their operation as a “dispensary,” or using the term “dispensary” in their advertising. The MMFLA defines a provisioning center as “any commercial property where cannabis is sold at retail to registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers.” In other words, the term “provisioning center” is carefully reserved for licensed facilities as a clear signal of compliance with Michigan medical marijuana laws.
Where is it Safe to Consume?
Certified patients and adults 21 and older may consume cannabis at home or in a private space. Consumption in public areas is illegal. Consuming medical marijuana in a privately owned vehicle falls under use in a public place, and is also prohibited. Driving under the influence of cannabis is a violation of Michigan’s Drugged Driving laws. Universities that receive federal funding must also comply with drug-free campus regulations, which prohibit marijuana possession and consumption on campus.
Possession and Cultivation Limits
According to state law, adults 21 and older may possess 2.5 ounces, or 71 grams, of cannabis flower; or 15 grams, or 0.53 ounces, of concentrate. Those interested in growing cannabis at home may cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants and may possess the harvest of those plants, up to 10 ounces, or 283.5 grams, in their home. Adults may gift small amounts of cannabis, but are prohibited from selling cannabis without a license.
Certified medical patients are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, of “marihuana-infused product.” However, beginning Dec. 6, 2019, adults 21 and older may possess a higher limit of cannabis, regardless of their medical status. Patients younger than 21 are limited to medical maximums. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) designates that the following amounts as legal equivalents of one ounce (1) of medical marijuana:
- 16 ounces, or 453.6 grams, of marihuana-infused product in a solid form
- 7 grams marihuana-infused product in a gaseous form
- 36 fluid ounces, or 1.06 liters, of marihuana-infused product in a liquid form
Primary caregivers may also hold legal amounts of medical cannabis for their patients. If a MMMP caregiver intends to cultivate plants for a patient, it must be specified on the patient’s registry application. Patients and primary caregivers may cultivate and possess up to 12 cannabis plants at a time. Home-cultivated plants must be kept in a locked, enclosed space. If a company or person wants to grow more, they need to apply for a Michigan commercial grow license.
to Be to Consume?
Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program or MMMP allows qualifying patients to obtain a registry ID card, which grants the patient legal access to medical marihuana.
Patients and Caregivers
Patients must be 18 or older to qualify for medical cannabis use under current MMMP laws. If patients designate a primary caregiver, they are required to list the caregiver on their registry application. Caregivers must be at least 21 years old and never have been convicted of a violent or drug-related felony. Primary caregivers must also have not committed a felony of any kind within the last 10 years. Primary caregivers may have up to five (5) qualifying patients in their care.
Debilitating Medical Conditions
The MMMP reserves medical cannabis access for patients with the following debilitating medical conditions under Michigan’s medical marijuana laws:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Nail-patella syndrome
The MMMP also reserves medical cannabis for chronic or debilitating conditions, or their treatments, that produce one or more of the following:
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
Applying for medical marijuana certification in Michigan involves the following steps:
- Patients must get a recommendation from a qualified physician. Unlike programs in other states, the MMMP doesn’t require extra training from licensed physicians to issue medical marijuana recommendations. It does, however, require a “bona fide doctor/patient relationship.”
- Patients must fill out the MMMP Michigan medical marijuana application form and submit it with a physician’s written certification and proof of Michigan residency (valid Michigan driver’s license, personal identification card, or signed voter registration).
- Patients who obtain a registry identification card are authorized to cultivate, possess, and purchase medical cannabis.
Registry Identification Card
The fee to obtain a registry ID card costs $60. Patients who designate a caregiver in their application must also submit a $25 caregiver fee and a copy of the caregiver’s state-issued identification. Designated caregivers will then receive a registry ID card, which expires on the same date as their patient’s registry ID.
Michigan patients have frequently been told by third parties that a registry application and physician will function as a temporary registry ID card. All patients applying for the MMMP should know that a valid registry ID card — presented alongside another state-issued ID, most commonly a state driver’s license — is the only form of identification that will protect them from arrest under Michigan dispensary laws.
Certified medical cannabis patients from out of state may use medical cannabis while in Michigan, as long as their home state also allows for reciprocity.
Cannabis testing labs must test for the following:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) levels
- Chemical residue
- Foreign matter inspection
- Fungicides, iInsecticides, and pesticides
- Metals screening
- Microbe and mycotoxin screening
- Moisture content
- Residual solvent levels
- Terpene analysis
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) levels
- Water activity content
If a marijuana sample given to a safety compliance lab does not pass the microbial, mycotoxin, heavy metal, pesticide chemical residue, or residual solvents levels test as required by the MMMA, the facility that provided the sample is required to dispose of the entire batch from which the sample was taken, and provide documentation of its destruction.
This page was last updated on Aug. 14, 2019.