Michigan voters will officially go to the polls November 6th to vote on legal weed.
What Will the New Law Allow?
In November, a ballot initiative will include the following new laws: People 21 and over can possess and use marijuana. A person can have up to 2.5 ounces in public. but may keep up to 10 ounces at home. Marijuana could not be used in public.
Marijuana would no longer be tied to medicine. Anyone (21 and up) under this law could use marijuana.
Individual communities may decide whether marijuana establishments will be allowed.
Michigan voters approved medical marijuana overwhelmingly (63%) in 2008. Since then, medical marijuana has been the subject of seemingly endless litigation. The law was far from perfect and had enough gray areas to keep the lawyers busy for more than a while.
As of last March, Michigan has 277,752 medical marijuana patients and 43,131 signed up as caregivers for patients.
The Future of Weed in Michigan
The Michigan Legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Licensing Facilities Act which was designed to legitimize dispensaries. Licenses for dispensaries and other positions in the new medical marijuana industry were first available last December.
However, no one has actually received a license yet, in part because the regulatory framework was difficult to put in place. Read about the Slow Roll Out of Michigan’s Dispensary Law.
The MMLFA created new medical marijuana industry positions, including distributors (provisioning centers), growers, transporters, testers, and processors (for marijuana-infused products).
This law and the work involved will still be useful. The regulatory framework developed for medial marijuana can be used for regulation of legal marijuana.
The medical marijuana dispensaries law is estimated to create $700 million revenue in sales. That number could grow to over a billion with legal weed. Compare this to Colorado, which saw $1.5 billion in sales in 2017.
The new law would come with a 10% excise tax on marijuana sales in addition to the 6% sales tax. Revenues from these taxes is estimated at $100 million. Those revenues are set to be split in the following ways: 35% to roads, 35% to education, and 15% to communities that allow marijuana businesses and 15% to counties allowing marijuana businesses.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.