Detroit skyline with the MacArthur bridge leading to Belle Isle and Detroit Boat Club in the foreground. Photo taken from Belle Isle fishing pier.

Brian Debus

Mich. Advocates Release Adult-Use Draft Proposal for 2018

The Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has released the latest draft of the cannabis legalization initiative the group hopes to put to voters in November 2018. The proposal would legalize cannabis possession and use for adults 21 and older, impose wholesale and sales taxes, and provides people convicted of a non-violent cannabis crime a path to clear their criminal record.

Under the measure, adults would be allowed to possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of concentrates and grow up to 12 plants in a residence for personal use. Individuals with criminal convictions would be able to petition for redesignation or expungement of their violation as if the new law were on the books at the time of the sentencing.

The proposal provides licenses for retailers, testing facilities, transporters, processors, and microbusinesses, along with licenses for three cultivation classes. Class A licenses would authorize cultivation of up to 100 plants; class B would allow up to 500 plants, and class C would authorize up to 2,000 plants. Growers would be taxed $20 per dry-weight ounce of flower and $6.75 per dry-weight ounce of leaves. Municipalities would be allowed to limit or ban any or all cannabis business operations.

The law would create a Marihuana Regulation Fund in the state Treasury for taxes and fees derived from the legal industry which would be used for implementation, administration, and enforcement of the law until 2020 – then at least $20 million from the fund would be provided to Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trials aimed at researching the efficacy of cannabis in treating medical conditions of U.S. Armed Services veterans. Following all appropriations, any excess funds would be distributed to municipalities and counties hosting cannabis establishments and to community colleges.

Last year, the ballot initiative to legalize adult cannabis use in Michigan was defeated by the Board of State Canvassers who ruled 137,000 signatures were over 180 days old, “stale,” causing the ballot drive to fall 106,000 signatures short.

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