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Cannabis in Michigan – Laws, Use, and History

In 2018, Michigan became the 10th state to legalise recreational cannabis use in the US. Medicinal cannabis was legalised back in 2008. Michigan also permits the cultivation of up to 12 cannabis plants in private residences, which is the highest amount in any ‘legal’ state. However, if grown outside, plants must be locked up and out of sight.

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      Cannabis laws in Michigan

      The US is governed by federal and state laws. This article covers the cannabis laws in the state of Michigan. For US federal laws, please visit our other article.

      Can you possess and use cannabis in Michigan?

      The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) not only establishes the terms of the law, but also delegates responsibility for the licencing, enforcement and regulation of the law. The Michigan Department of Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is responsible for overseeing all adult recreational cannabis use in the state.

      The law states that anyone aged 21 or over can use and possess cannabis. When in public, individuals are permitted to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower, or 15 grams of concentrated cannabis. However, possession and use are forbidden on school properties (including school buses) and those of correctional institutions.

      Use of cannabis is also forbidden in public spaces, although at the time of writing, there is still some confusion over what constitutes a ‘public space’. For example, the law doesn’t establish whether using cannabis on a front porch (in full view of the road), would count as flouting the rules or not.

      In the privacy of their own homes, individuals may possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis flowers, but anything over 2.5 ounces must be securely locked away (e.g. in a safe, locked drawer or briefcase). If caught flouting these rules, the police regard it as a civil infraction, which is punishable with a $100 fine.

      Driving while using cannabis

      Michigan’s cannabis laws state that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. Using cannabis in a vehicle is regarded as a civil infraction. If the authorities can prove that the use of the drug impaired the individual’s ability to safely operate the vehicle, then the driver could receive a DUI (driving under the influence).

      To make matters more complex, there’s no roadside test for cannabis use. Saliva tests are problematic, as they only indicate if someone has used cannabis, not how much they’ve consumed or how recently they did so. Also, tolerance levels can vary substantially from person to person. This is why Michigan’s authorities have chosen not to set a legal limit for THC levels.

      Working while using cannabis

      Like many other US states that have legalised recreational use of cannabis, Michigan’s law still gives employers the right to carry out drugs tests on their staff. They are also legally able to fire employees based on the results of the test.

      Legalising cannabis – a success story?

      In financial terms, Michigan’s decision to legalise recreational cannabis has paid off. The market has grown rapidly since 2018, and Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency, estimated that sales of cannabis could reach as high as $1billion by the end of 2020.

      The Marijuana Regulatory Agency reported that throughout 2020, the combined sales of medicinal and recreational cannabis reached $984.7 million.

      This speedy growth was especially notable during the COVID-19 lockdown. Brisbo commented: “Overall, the industry has been going like gangbusters during the pandemic. There’s been a tremendous interest in cannabis in Michigan. I think a lot of people are using it for self-medication, easing of the mind, and stress reduction.”

      Since June 2020, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency have reported that cannabis sales have increased 65% to $149 million over the year period.

      Can you sell cannabis in Michigan?

      It’s not possible to sell cannabis in Michigan. However, this isn’t due to the fact that it’s illegal but actually because the recreational cannabis law was only introduced in 2018, and at the time of writing, the state’s authorities had yet to create a structure for issuing retail licences.

      Some industry experts believe that cannabis users could be waiting as long as 2020 for the first retail stores to open.

      However, the law does enable individuals to access cannabis in other ways. For example, it’s permitted to ‘gift’ up to 2.5 ounces (or 15 grams of concentrated cannabis) to another adult, as long as no money is exchanged. It’s also legal to grow supplies at home.

      Some businesses are seeking to get around the licencing issue by offering their customer certain products that come with a ‘free’ bag of cannabis. In real terms, the customer is actually paying for the cannabis, not the product. However, this is a legally dubious approach, as ‘gifting’ technically involves no monetary compensation whatsoever.

      Dispensaries or ‘provisioning centres’ are in operation in places like Detroit. Although the number of dispensaries has dropped in the city, there are still around 60 dispensaries for residents to obtain cannabis from. The desirability and value of the product has caused security issues though, with some businesses in Detroit experiencing problems with break-ins.

      Some parts of Michigan will not have any cannabis retailers at all. State law permits individual communities (e.g. cities) to opt out, for example, if they feel it sends a negative message to young people. At the time of writing, around 40 communities have chosen to adopt this approach.

      Can you grow cannabis in Michigan?

      It’s legal to grow cannabis in Michigan, but only in a private residence and under certain restrictions such as the following:

      • Only 12 plants may be grown per household.
      • The plants should be grown indoors, or if outdoors, they must be in a locked enclosure. must not be easily visible from public areas (e.g. a neighbouring park).
      • If renting a property, the tenant must seek approval from the landlord before growing the cannabis.

      Michigan’s limit of 12 plants is the highest in the US. The only other state that permits growers to cultivate 12 plants is Alaska. Most of the other states that have legalised recreational cannabis use only allow up to six plants to be grown.

      Is CBD legal in Michigan?

      According to legislation passed in 2018, CBD and other products derived from hemp do not fall under the definition of cannabis – therefore, they are legal to use, sell and purchase without a medicinal marijuana card.

      The Michigan Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs states that, if it contains 0.3% of THC or under, it’s legal to use it. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stresses that it hasn’t approved any CBD products, and therefore cannot guarantee their safety or effectiveness.

      Can cannabis seeds be sent to Michigan?

      Cannabis seeds are legal to buy, use and sell in Michigan. However, because laws differ from state to state, they can’t be taken across the border. This makes mailing seeds into Michigan a ‘grey’ area, with anecdotal reports claiming that seeds can get held at customs.

      Medicinal cannabis in Michigan

      Medicinal cannabis was made legal in Michigan in 2008. The law permits the use of cannabis when treating the following conditions:

      There are several other conditions that can be legally treated with cannabis, including obsessive compulsive-disorder (OCD), nausea, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

      Like recreational users, patients are permitted to use up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis at home, and may grow as many as 12 plants.

      To receive medicinal cannabis treatment, patients must apply for a licence, which needs to be approved by their healthcare provider.

      Industrial hemp in Michigan

      In 2018, the Farm Bill was passed, permitting the cultivation of industrial hemp across the US. Michigan’s state licencing law came into effect in January 2019. However, federal law forbids the issuing of registrations or licences until a state plan has been submitted and approved by the USDA.

      The state plan must demonstrate that Michigan has the right policies and procedures in place to:

      • Keep track of where the hemp is produced
      • Ensure the levels of THC in the hemp are below 0.3% (the legal limit)
      • Ensure that hemp with THC levels above 0.3% is disposed of properly
      • Handle violations of the Farm Bill or the state plan

      Good to know

      If you are travelling to Michigan (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following:

      • Cannabis was widely used in Michigan, even before recreational use was legalised. In 2014 and 2015, for example, around 10% of the population claimed to have used it in the previous month.
      • In 2017, 2.98% of the state’s population were registered medicinal cannabis users. This was the third-highest number in the country (beaten only by California and Maine).
      • Michigan’s recreational cannabis market is projected to exceed $1 billion in annual sales by early 2020.

      Related post

      Cannabis Use in Lebanon – Laws, Use, and History

      Cannabis history

      Cannabis has been a part of Michigan’s history for centuries. It was used by communities to create fibre and rope, and was regarded as a useful crop. However, the positive attitude towards cannabis and hemp started changing at the start of the 20 th century.

      Like the rest of the US, Michigan banned cannabis use in the 1930s with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act. However, while much of the US was engaged in a ‘war on drugs’ during the 1970s, one city in Michigan adopted a very different strategy.

      The college town of Ann Arbor was the location for many pro-cannabis rallies. For example, when the poet John Sinclair was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two cannabis joints, protestors organised the Free John Sinclair Rally in a bid to see his sentence revoked.

      The activism within the town ultimately led to changes in local law. For example, in 1974, possession of small quantities of cannabis in Ann Arbor became a civil infraction, rather than a criminal offence.

      Michigan was one of the earlier states to legalise medicinal cannabis too (the 13 th to do so), which reflects its modern attitudes towards the drug.

      Attitudes towards cannabis

      56% of voters supported the legalisation of cannabis, which indicates a strong majority views the drug positively. However, some industry experts talk about ‘fear’ campaigns, which led other Michigan residents to protest against cannabis legalisation.

      Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, comments: “This issue [cannabis legalisation] enjoys strong support not only on the coasts, but also in the Midwest and all throughout the country.”

      With one in five states now choosing to legalise recreational use (and three in five legalising medicinal use), the big question is – will federal law change to keep up with the shifting attitudes of the country?


      6 thoughts on “Cannabis in Michigan – Laws, Use, and History”

      Hi! I’ve known about you since 1996 or so when you advertised in Cannabis canada/cannabis culture magazine. I am now a MMMP participant and will grow in the near term future. I hope to find your seeds for sale. I appreciate your company!

      With the growing amount of home grows selling to dispensaries, I recommend everyone get their meds tested. The number one laboratory in the state of Michigan is The Spott Laboratory. They are located at 901 Riverview Dr. in Kalamazoo. The staff is extremely educated in the industry with the fastest results! With the new laws coming, every dispensary will have to test all their meds before sale. They service statewide and always available to help!

      I think that the pharmacy bill is going to ruin this busines it’s paving the way for big business to come to Michigan and push the little guys out

      I have only 1 point to make here about this article. Where it said “The renewal period for the MMMP card has been reduced from 2 years to 1 year.” This is just the opposite, the card has been extended from 1 year card to 2 years before they need to be renewed. I have been in this registration since 2010. I have had to renew my card every year until this last time, I renewed in 02/2014 and the new card I received doesn’t expire until 02/2016.

      i live in michigan and i need my card cause i love weed. seems reasonable enough to me doctors should just hand them out cause lets be realistic about it. you have to do so much stupid shit to get it..go green. thanks.

      There really is no place in the world like Detroit. It is a place where nobody is normal and everyone is just a little paranoid with a touch of mental illness all interacting in an undeniable drug/music/party scene. It is an underground filled with what will be mainstream 10 years from now. It is a place where even the normative concepts such as time do not exist. It breed some of the most fascinating creatures this world will ever see. It is a reckless and bittersweet beauty that cannot be viewed but only experienced. It a place where your you skin matters; not the color but rather how thick it is.

      5 things to know about growing your own recreational marijuana legally in Michigan

      Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan right now, but there won’t be a legal way to buy it until 2020 or so.

      In the meantime, those who want to partake have two options: find someone willing to give you pot for free or grow your own.

      There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation going around, so here’s a handy list of basics on cultivating your own recreational cannabis.

      1. How many plants can you legally own or grow?

      Anyone 21 and over will be able to grow up to 12 plants at home.

      You can’t buy seeds or cuttings from anyone until the state-approved retail businesses are up and running, but someone could give them to you.

      Seeds are available online to purchase, but internet purchases fall under interstate commerce, which is regulated by federal law, and marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

      Alongside the 12 plants, individuals will be allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on their person and up to 10 ounces at home.

      2. You won’t be able to grow legally if Arlan Meekhof gets his way

      Republican lawmakers are trying to put through a new bill that will prevent people from growing their own marijuana.

      A bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, at the end of November would prohibit homegrown marijuana.

      The bill isn’t likely to pass because the Legislature will need a three-quarters vote in both the House of Representatives and Senate to make changes to proposals passed by voters. However, unlikely isn’t impossible.

      3. How to grow marijuana at home

      Once you have seeds or cuttings, what’s the next step?

      “There’s so much to it,” said Charles Dupree, the owner of Great Lakes Grow Store at 119 S. Union St. in Battle Creek. “People think you can just put a seed in and just grow it. You can technically, but, in order to get a good product, it’s kind of like the garden outside. The love you put in is the love you get out.”

      Most gardening or grow stores will have all the supplies you need to grow cannabis, except the cannabis itself. You’ll need a grow tent or locked room. How much space you’ll need depends on how many plants you have.You can grow one or two plants in a 5-gallon bucket in a 4-foot-by-4-foot area, Dupree said. The full 12 plants allowed by the law would need at least 10 feet by 10 feet.

      The voter-initiated statute specifies that plants can be grown as long as they are not visible “from a public place without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids or outside of an enclosed area equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the area.”

      It takes at least four months to get a harvestable cannabis plant from a seed, with two months in the flowering stage. The plants need light for 18 to 24 hours a day until you’re ready for them to start producing buds, at which point they’ll need 12 hours of light. The plants need high humidity and should be kept at roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

      “There’s a lot more to it than people think,” Dupree said.

      Female cannabis plants are the ones that produce the marijuana, so growers will need to take that into account. Once the plant’s done flowering, it won’t produce flowers again, Dupree said.

      Growers also should take note that it doesn’t matter if the plant is flowering or not, germinating or just a cutting, it can still be considered a plant, according to a Michigan Court of Appeals medical marijuana case in 2016.

      4. Can your landlord stop you from growing or smoking marijuana?

      Your landlord will be able to prevent you from growing and smoking marijuana. But they won’t be able to stop you from eating it.

      The law says that, while a property owner can prohibit or regulate “the consumption, cultivation, distribution, processing, sale, or display of marijuana and marijuana accessories,” a lease agreement can’t prohibit a tenant from keeping up to 10 ounces at home or “consuming marijuana by means other than smoking.”

      “If it says consuming, I think consuming includes smoking, smoking does not include consuming,” said attorney Sarissa Montague, of the Kalamazoo firm Levine & Levine.

      What about vaping?

      “I don’t know what they are going to say about vaping because the statute itself I don’t believe defines vaping,” Montague said . “It does not define consuming and it does not define smoking, so one of the issues that most likely will be litigated in the near future is going to be where vaping falls within the context of this act.”

      5. Where can you smoke marijuana?

      Public consumption of marijuana will remain illegal, but the living room of your house is fine (as long as you own the place or your landlord is OK with it).

      Also, you cannot operate vehicles, aircrafts, snowmobiles, off-road recreational vehicles or motorboats while “under the influence” of marijuana, but what “under the influence” is exactly is still an unknown.

      It also prohibits you from smoking marijuana within the passenger area of a vehicle on a public road.

      “Marijuana users need to be aware that there’s not a blanket entitlement to using marijuana wherever you want however you want,” Montague said. “There are laws. The penalties are different, but there’s still regulation of it.”

      What is the Legality of Cannabis Seeds in Australia

      Cannabis has been stigmatized for a long time. Even despite its common use and acceptance among the public, it remains to be one of the most stigmatized activities with several social and legal consequences around the world, including Australia .

      Some alterations to the laws are to be expected in the future. For example, changes are already visible, as there are several places where one can purchase top quality cannabis seeds in Australia .

      However, recreational and medical users keep fighting to legalize the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis and cannabis seeds all around Australia. Over the years, the stigma has caught the attention of the media, many scientists and journals as well, to research and write about all benefits and drawbacks of cannabis.


      While cannabis remains to be the most widely used substance among the general public, it is still illegal in the majority of states. However, legality, possession, and the use of cannabis and cannabis seeds all vary from state to state across Australia.

      Over the last two decades, there has been pervasiveness of usage of cannabis and cultivation of cannabis seeds. However, in present Australia, only patients with a valid prescription are allowed to use and possess medical cannabis.

      The prescription is given only to those with serious and fatal conditions whose body resists responding to other treatments. This prescription is personalized and needs to be government-approved beforehand. Additionally, the prescription costs approximately $300 a year.

      Because cannabis is legal for medical purposes only, both the possession and cultivation of seeds are strictly allowed only for medical use as well, meaning that possessing cannabis seeds without the license is prohibited.

      Even though it is still possible to buy cannabis seeds, whether from several existing national dispensaries or through online seed banks, but, to purchase the seeds from a local dispensary, you need to own a valid medical prescription.

      Moreover, getting the seeds from some other country and mailing them to Australia is illegal since only a medical practitioner has the right to obtain cannabis or cannabis seeds coming from abroad. With this in mind, mailing the seeds into the country is illegal, but very commonly done by the citizens.

      Why do people want to find out more about the legality of cannabis seeds? Constantly ordering from unreliable sources and paying high prices, many people opt for cultivating their cannabis. Most sources package the seeds discreetly, so they have a better chance of getting through customs, usually labeling them as something unsuspicious.

      However, some misunderstandings do exist concerning the legality of cannabis seeds. There is a possibility to buy some cannabis seeds legally and without a prescription, since the seeds on their own do not have any psychoactive qualities. Nevertheless, it is important to clarify that cannabis seeds in question are used for souvenirs or collector’s items.

      The exception is the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), where the Australian capital city Canberra is located. In the ACT, it is legal to: possess 50g of dried cannabis or 150g of fresh cannabis, grow up to two cannabis plants per person, or four plants per household.


      It is a very thin line between legal and illegal when it comes to cannabis seeds in Australia. Offenses for any illegal activities regarding cannabis are often revised and altered.

      Across the whole of Australia, there are ‘Cannabis Cautioning Scheme’ programs established by the government and are currently running. The main aim of these programs is to focus on discussion, treatment, and drug avoidance, rather than punishment. However, for major offenses, different penalties for illegal acts can vary from state to state.

      To begin, in the majority of states and territories across Australia, the offender is fined around A$100 or required to attend an Alcohol and Drug Program if caught with up to 25g of cannabis. If the quantity is higher, usually between 25 and 100g, the amount rises to approximately A$300. However, even if caught without medical prescription, there has been applied leniency in cases involving people with genuine and serious health conditions.

      Growing and cultivating cannabis is illegal in Australia, but the laws yet again differ. For example, in some territories, the penalties for growing cannabis are decided based on the number of plants, and not their size, whether they are just seedlings, while in the others it is the complete opposite.

      However, since the country is changing, even when caught with up to two plants used for personal needs, the penalties are minimal – they include fines between A$200 and A$400, or participation in a treatment program.

      To Conclude

      Buying or having cannabis seeds is illegal in Australia. However, with many changes relating to cannabis over recent years, legalization is not that far from reality. Currently legal only for medical purposes, minor cannabis offenses are however brought to a minimum level, generally with just a fine.

      If you are thinking about getting some cannabis seeds for personal use, pay attention to all possible issues and consequences in your state.

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