What's next for recreational marijuana in Michigan?

Published: Nov. 7, 2018 at 8:31 AM EST
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Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 Tuesday, which legalizes adult recreational marijuana use in the state, but sales may not begin until 2020.

Recreational marijuana becomes legal ten days after state election results are certified, which should happen early next month. But the Michigan Legislature still has to write laws that will govern the state's licensing system for marijuana businesses, and then the businesses will have to get proper licensing.

One example of a possible timeline for Michigan comes from Colorado: Voters approved recreational marijuana in Nov. 2012, but it didn't officially become legal to sell until 2014.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol says public consumption and driving under the influence are not legalized, and no commercial sales will happen until businesses are licensed and approved.

Michigan became the first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana. The proposal passed by a 56-44 percent margin with 93 percent of precincts reporting.

Proposal 1 allows adults aged 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Within a residence, adults will be permitted to grow up to twelve marijuana plants and/or possess up to ten ounces of marijuana. Any amount greater than 2.5 ounces must be stored under lock and key. Violations of the law would result in civil infractions or criminal charges, depending on the severity of the offense.

Proposal 1 establishes a legal framework for licensing and regulating marijuana businesses in Michigan including cultivators and dispensaries. The initiative requires all marijuana and marijuana products to be tested for safety and includes strict tracking requirements to ensure that marijuana is not diverted into the unregulated market.

Proposal 1 allows cities and towns to regulate, ban, or limit the number of marijuana businesses in the community.

Proposal 1 establishes a 10 percent tax on marijuana products in addition to Michigan's 6 percent sales tax.

Under Proposal 1, Michigan's state government will create regulations on: labeling and packaging of marijuana and marijuana products; and the advertising and marketing of marijuana, marijuana products, and marijuana businesses. The state will have strong regulations in place to ensure businesses are not marketing to children.

Selling marijuana without a license, or selling marijuana to a minor, would still be criminal and would hold the same harsh penalties as today.

Supporters of Proposal 1 say it will align with the state's new regulatory system for medical marijuana businesses and raise roughly $130 million in additional tax revenue each year that can go toward road repairs, schools and local governments.

Approval of Proposal 1 comes ten years after Michigan voters approved medical marijuana.

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