Cannabis is officially legal for adults in Michigan starting today.
Adults who are 21 or older are now allowed to consume the plant, possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower and 15 grams of concentrates, and grow up to 12 plants at home. Adult citizens can also possess the harvests of their home grows, up to a maximum of 10 ounces of flower.
Cannabis commercialization, including a taxed-and-regulated marketplace, will hopefully launch in Michigan sometime at the end of 2019.
56 percent of voters approved the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act despite heavy opposition during the 2018 midterms.
As Michigan is the 10th U.S. state to legalize, a whopping 20 percent of the nation’s 50 states have now ended cannabis prohibition.
“This is a great day for the state of Michigan and, as the first midwest state to legalize marijuana for adult use, a huge step forward in the nationwide fight to end the failed policy of prohibition and incarceration and to replace it with a sensible system of legalization and regulation.” — NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, in a statement
Potential legislative interference
The reforms are not 100 percent secure, however, as outgoing Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arian Meekhof has introduced legislation via a lame-duck session that would gut several key aspects of the voter-approved ballot initiative, including the right to home-grow cannabis. Sen. Meekhof’s proposal would also reduce the cannabis excise tax down from ten percent to just three percent, which would in turn slash the state’s future cannabis tax revenue.
Activists are not happy about the possible interference with Michigan’s electoral process.
“It’s disrespectful to the political process and it’s disrespectful to the voters of Michigan,” Josh Hovey, spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said in an interview with MLive. “The people of Michigan have spoken. They knew what they were voting on.”
“I think it’s a Hail Mary attempt to satisfy some big business interests and wealthy donors who want to get into the industry,” said Hovey.