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Known for its proximity to the Great Lakes, as the breeding ground of Motown Records and the home of the U.S. auto industry, the Wolverine State now has another claim to fame. Michigan is the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana use.

But, there are rules. So, before you jump into your classic T-Bird and race to Michigan while listening to The Supremes and dreaming of the world-class doobie you're about to smoke, here's everything you need to know before you light up.

Where and How to Buy

The new law allows for retail sales of marijuana, but it will take time for businesses to get established. According to the legislation, applications can start being accepted within a year after the effective date of the act. At present, adult-use consumers may grow up to 12 plants in their home.

Currently, only medical dispensaries are licensed, and only registered medical marijuana patients can purchase cannabis from these retail locations.  

How to Consume

Consumers  21 and older can use or possess up to 2.5 ounces, or 70.9 grams, of marijuana with no more than 15 grams, or a half-ounce, in the form of marijuana concentrate at any given time. Smoking is allowed in a person's home or rental as long as the landlord allows it. Marijuana-infused products, including topicals, tinctures, beverages, edibles, and related products intended for human consumption are now legal for recreational use.

Marijuana-infused products, including topicals, tinctures, beverages, edibles, and related products intended for human consumption are now legal for recreational use in Michigan. Click To Tweet

The law also allows for the possibility of enacting local ordinances permitting consumption in designated areas or at special events. Notably, the law also legalizes the manufacture of industrial hemp under state and local law.

It is OK to give marijuana to someone 21 or older as long as there is no payment involved, it is less than 2.5 ounces and not more than 15 grams of marijuana concentrate. The transfer may not be advertised or promoted to the public.

What Isn't Allowed

Public use of marijuana is prohibited. So is driving while under the influence — and that includes aircraft, snowmobiles, and off-road recreational vehicles. It is illegal to give marijuana or accessories to anyone younger than 21. If you're growing marijuana, the plants can't be visible from a public place to the naked eye (without binoculars, for instance).

First-Time Use

If you're able to score some weed from a friend or purchase some from a medical retailer, don't get excited and go too heavy all at once. Take a puff and see how you feel. When it comes to edibles, take even more precaution. Edibles take longer to feel and are easy to overdo. Don't become that person who doesn't do edibles because of a bad experience. Nibble instead of munch and you won't regret it.

Cannabis Legalization in Michigan

With the support of groups like the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act was passed by voters in the state on Nov. 6, 2018, becoming law on Dec. 6, 2018. The law legalizes recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and older.

Ten years earlier to the day, voters in the state approved the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative on Nov. 6, 2008, legalizing medical marijuana for seriously ill patients with a doctor's approval.

In 2013, dispensing facilities became illegal because of a state Supreme Court ruling. Then in September 2016, the Michigan Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) was signed into law, which implemented a system of licensing and regulation for cannabis growers, processors, secured transporters, safety compliance facilities, and provisioning centers.

Wondering why marijuana is spelled strangely in the state's laws? Michigan uses old-fashioned spelling for marijuana with an “h” instead of a “j”, dating back to the spelling used for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Changing the spelling would require an act by the Michigan Legislature.