Michigan Rules and Regulations for Cannabis

While many states in recent years have moved to legalize marijuana for medical or recreation purposes — or both — Michigan was actually the first one in the Midwest to legalize it on a recreational basis.

In 2018, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was signed into law, which made it legal for most adults 21 years of age and older to use marijuana on a recreational basis. The state had previously legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

There are many rules and regulations for cannabis in Michigan that you need to be aware of if you want to possess, use, cultivate and even sell cannabis legally. Below, we’ll dive into the many different aspects of the state’s cannabis rules.

State-Specific Laws

The first thing to understand about Michigan rules and regulations for cannabis is that they are state-specific. In other words, they only apply when you are within Michigan’s state borders. 

What this means is that even though it’s legal to possess a certain amount of marijuana in Michigan, it’s not legal to do so in all states. So, if you plan on crossing state lines, you need to make sure that you are following all the local rules and regulations where you are traveling. 

Also note that cannabis is considered illegal in all forms by federal law. This comes into play in a number of situations, including domestic travel via airplane as well as obtaining a loan through a financial institution backed by the federal government.

How Much Cannabis Can You Possess in Michigan?

Just because recreational cannabis is legal in Michigan doesn’t mean there are no limits at all. According to state law, adults over the age of 21 are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on their person. That limit increases to 10 ounces when they are in their own home.

If you are caught with between 2.5 ounces and 5 ounces of marijuana outside of your home, you could face a civil infraction with a maximum fine of $500 for your first offense. If you are found to be in possession of more than 5 ounces outside your home, you could face a misdemeanor charge with a maximum fine of $500 for your first offense.

What this law means is that you are technically not allowed to purchase more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time, even if you intend to only use it in your home. That’s because you’ll be outside of your home when you transport it from the dispensary.

Where Can’t You Possess Cannabis?

In addition to there being limits in place for how much cannabis you can possess in certain locations, there are also restrictions for where you can’t ever possess marijuana in Michigan.

State law says that no one can possess marijuana within 1,000 feet of a park — or in the park itself. If you are caught doing so, the judge will be able to use their own discretion to decide whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. The punishment carries with it a maximum sentence of two years in jail as well as a fine of up to $2,000.

Can You Distribute Marijuana in Michigan?

You are allowed to give marijuana to another legal adult in Michigan as long as the exchange meets certain criteria. First, both you and the person you are giving it to must be of legal age.

Second, you must not receive any remuneration, or payment, in exchange for it. In other words, if you are giving a friend who is of legal age some of the marijuana that you have in your home, then it is legal.

Third, the amount that you give to another person must be less than 2.5 ounces.

Finally, you aren’t allowed to transfer the cannabis in public, and you aren’t allowed to promote or advertise that you are giving cannabis away.

If you distribute between 2.5 and 5 ounces of marijuana to another person without remuneration, you’ll be penalized with a civil infraction that carries a maximum fine of $500.

Can you Sell Cannabis in Michigan?

Michigan rules and regulations for cannabis set very clear definitions as to who can and can’t sell marijuana in the state.

All those who wish to do business in marijuana in Michigan — whether for recreational or medical purposes — must receive the proper certifications and licenses to do so. State agencies conduct rigorous background checks and screening of applicants to ensure the operation is legitimate and run legally.  Both state and local licenses are required to sell in a Michigan municipality.

Obtaining a license to sell cannabis in Michigan is not only a long process, but an expensive one, too. Failure to obtain these proper licenses can result in significant criminal penalties.

All illegal sales of marijuana in Michigan are considered to be a felony. The sale of less than 5 kg of cannabis could result in a jail term of up to four years and a fine of up to $20,000. The sale of between 5 kg and 45 kg could result in a sentence of up to seven years in jail and a $500,000 fine. The sale of more than 45 kg could result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a maximum fine of $10 million.

Can You Grow Cannabis in Michigan?

Michigan’s recreational marijuana law does allow people in Michigan to grow their own marijuana plants, under certain circumstances. 

An adult is allowed to grow as many as 12 marijuana plants at their own home, as long as the plants are going to be for personal usage.

The plants must not be grown in a place where they can be seen from a public place or outside of a secure area. This means that the plants can’t be grown inside next to a window that isn’t covered by blinds or curtains, nor can it be grown outside if someone else could access the plants without opening a gate or lock, for instance.

If you are found in violation of the rules and regulations as they relate to the location of the marijuana plants, you could face being charged with a civil offense, which could result in a fine of up to $100 and the forfeiture of your marijuana plants.

If you are found to be growing more than 12 but less than 25 plants, you could face a civil infraction that carries with it a $500 maximum fine.

Those found to have 25 or more marijuana plants can face a misdemeanor charge. The term of incarceration can also be imposed in these cases if “the violation was habitual, willful and for a commercial purpose, or the violation involved violence,” according to Michigan’s rules and regulations for cannabis.