Michigan is a state of many identities. It's the birthplace of Motown and the heart of the U.S. auto industry. Called both the Wolverine State and the Great Lakes State, Michigan was also an early adopter of medical marijuana.
Michigan became the 10th state in the U.S. to legalize adult-use marijuana on Nov. 4, 2008, under the voter-approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The law enables patients with a debilitating disease whose doctor recommends marijuana to use it with a state-issued ID.
Patients may also elect to have a primary caregiver assist them in growing and using marijuana. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP), a state registry program within the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, oversees the state's registry.
Michigan's Qualifying Conditions
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Crohn's disease
- Hepatitis C
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
Applying for Medical Marijuana in Michigan
Medical marijuana must be prescribed by a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine and surgery (DO) licensed to practice in Michigan. Patients must get a signed physician certification to qualify.
Patients without a caregiver can sign up by first creating an online account with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Minors need a parent or legal guardian to submit a complete MMMP Minor Application Packet.
Once a physician recommends medical marijuana, patients pay a fee of $60, except for those currently enrolled in Medicaid or receiving government benefits, who pay $25. Designating a caregiver requires an additional $25 caregiver fee. Application fees may be paid with check or money order payable to the State of Michigan – MMMP. Visit the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program website for an application and instructions checklist.
Appointing a Caregiver
Patients who designate caregivers must complete an application packet if a patient is within 60 days of their registry card expiring or the person is not a current patient with an active registry card, or the patient must complete an Add or Change Caregiver Form if they already have an active registry card. A copy of a valid state-issued driver license or personal identification card must be submitted with the Application Packet or Add or Change Caregiver Form.
Primary caregivers may cultivate marijuana for qualifying patients and patients may grow medicine for themselves. A person can be a caregiver for up to five patients. Caregivers are allowed a combined total of 2.5 ounces, or 71 grams, of usable marijuana or its equivalents for each qualifying patient they are connected to by the department's registration process.
The Bureau of Marijuana Regulation regulates the state's medical marijuana facilities and licensees, including growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers (Michigan's legally designated name for dispensaries), and safety compliance facilities. There are roughly 40 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act enables facilities to operate. Communities from counties from as small as Arenac to as large as Wayne have opted in to enable operations.
Rules for Patients Visiting from Other States
According to Michigan law, a provisioning center may sell or transfer a marijuana product to a visiting qualifying patient if both of the following criteria are met:
- The licensee verifies that the visiting qualifying patient has a valid, unexpired medical marijuana registry card or its equivalent issued in another state that allows medical marijuana, and
- The licensee confirms that the patient presented a valid driver license or government-issued identification card.