Legal Weed In Michigan Is One Step Closer To Reality
Michigan has released the regulations for recreational cannabis grow ops.
Michigan state government allowed adult-use cannabis following a vote in November, 2018. Residents had prior access to medical cannabis, following a separate vote that took place in 2008. Under this medical cannabis law, patients are allowed to grow up to 12 plants for medicinal use and possess up to 10oz at their place of residence. Interestingly, Michigan legalized recreational cannabis long before it was ready to deal with it. As a result, the regulations for legal weed in Michigan are ongoing.
The state has most recently announced that licensing applications to operate recreational cannabis grows will start at the beginning of November 2019 and the first licenses will be awarded later that month. This means that it may still be awhile before Michigan residents see recreational cannabis dispensaries in their neighborhood. However, the state is optimistic that the first cannabis grows will begin operations before 2020.
What Will Legal Weed In Michigan Look Like?
Once established, recreational cannabis dispensaries in Michigan will allow anyone over 21 to purchase cannabis with a state ID. This is a change from the state’s current medical cannabis dispensaries. These establishments have no age requirement as long as a patient has a state cannabis card for a qualifying condition like cancer, PTSD, or epilepsy.
Many dispensaries will sell both medical and recreational, but the shops will be required to separate the products for the two markets. The state will take a 6% sales tax from both cannabis markets, but only the recreational market will be subject to an additional 10% excise tax. The state also plans to set lower THC limits for recreational market cannabis products, like edibles.
Individual communities are also able to reject recreational cannabis under the new rules. City officials can exercise this power if they gather support signatures from 5% of voters. As many as 500 towns have indicated that they don’t want cannabis business, but many of those also say they are waiting to see what regulations look like before rejecting outright.
Legal weed in Michigan will not include public consumption. The new laws do, however, allow for social consumption clubs, like those seen in other U.S. states. These establishments, however, cannot sell cannabis. Towns have the same right to nix them as they do recreational dispensaries. However once recreational cannabis is in full swing, Michigan may see delivery services that will drop to homes or social clubs.
Obstacles for New Businesses
To obtain a recreational license in the state, businesses must show that they have at least $150,000 in assets. Additionally, businesses will be subject to a $6000 application fee. On top of this, local communities will see an additional $5000 application fee. This doesn’t include the tens of thousands that businesses will have to pay for regulatory assessments.
Needless to say, making money from legal weed in Michigan won’t be cheap. The state hopes to eventually offer more affordable licenses to “micro-businesses.”
These are small-retailers that will produce far less product in only one facility. You can think of these like micro-breweries, specializing in craft cannabis.
Most Michigan residents will soon have full access to recreational cannabis. The release of regulations this week is an exciting step forward for yet another state pushing cannabis legalization in the US.