7 Michigan Cannabis Laws You Must Know

Michigan headerr

Both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Michigan, so there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to deciphering the law. You can find the full regulations for marijuana dispensaries (or provisioning centers, as they're called in Michigan) here.

In this post, we’ll dissect the top 7 need-to-know Michigan cannabis laws.

Michigan Marijuana Laws at a Glance

  • Marijuana dispensaries in Michigan are called provisioning centers.
  • The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is the regulatory authority in Michigan.

  • Michigan uses Metrc as its state track-and-trace system.

  • Adult-use, or recreational marijuana, is legal in Michigan as of November 2018.

  • Adult-use marijuana is subject to a 10% excise tax in addition to the 6% sales tax.

  • There is not a per-day cannabis purchase limit in Michigan for adult-use consumers; the limits are 2.5 ounces per transaction. Medical patients (or caregivers) are limited to 2.5 ounces per day.

  • Michigan uses the spelling “marihuana” instead of “marijuana.” Since the “h” spelling is used in official regulations, it’s often used in formal communication. The “j” spelling is generally used in non-formal communication. To avoid confusion, many simply use “cannabis."

  • Cannabis can be delivered in Michigan

Law #1: Recreational licensing

Legal reference

333.27959 License to operate a marihuana establishment; application; qualifications; issuance; disclosure.Sec. 9. 1. Each application for a state license must be submitted to the department. Upon receipt of a complete application and application fee, the department shall forward a copy of the application to the municipality in which the marihuana establishment is to be located, determine whether the applicant and the premises qualify for the state license and comply with this act, and issue the appropriate state license or send the applicant a notice of rejection setting forth specific reasons why the department did not approve the state license application within 90 days. 2. The department shall issue the following state license types: marihuana retailer; marihuana safety compliance facility; marihuana secure transporter; marihuana processor; marihuana microbusiness; class A marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 100 marihuana plants; class B marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 500 marihuana plants; and class C marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 2,000 marihuana plants. 3. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the department shall approve a state license application and issue a state license if: (a) the applicant has submitted an application in compliance with the rules promulgated by the department, is in compliance with this act and the rules, and has paid the required fee; (b) the municipality in which the proposed marihuana establishment will be located does not notify the department that the proposed marihuana establishment is not in compliance with an ordinance consistent with section 6 of this act and in effect at the time of application; (c) the property where the proposed marihuana establishment is to be located is not within an area zoned exclusively for residential use and is not within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12.

Explained

  • Applications are submitted to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency with a fee of $6,000.

  • Depending on your license type, a fee of $4,000 to $40,000 must be paid as an annual regulatory assessment in order for the license to be issued.

  • Applications will be accepted or rejected within 90 days.

  • Licenses come in the following types:
    • marihuana retailer
    • marihuana safety compliance facility
    • marihuana secure transporter
    • marihuana processor
    • marihuana microbusiness
    • designated consumption establishments
    • temporary marihuana events
    • excess marihuana grower licenses
    • class A marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 100 marihuana plants
    • class B marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 500 marihuana plants
    • class C marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 2,000 marihuana plants
  • Licenses must meet the following requirements to be accepted:
    • The application was submitted in compliance with department rules with the required fee.

    • The marijuana establishment is in compliance with section 6 of the act at the time of application.

    • Adult-use grows are capped at 5 by default. They can start adding additional licenses (Excess Grow Licenses) by also holding medical grow licenses.

      • There is no cap on the medical side. Once you hit your cap of 5 adult-use, you can add 1 Excess Grow license per every 2 medical grow licenses; all applicable to "Class C's" only.

  • A municipality can limit the number of marijuana establishments licensed in the area. In this case, the municipality will decide between competing applications that meet all requirements.

  • State licenses are effective for a single year.

Law #2: Purchase limits

Legal reference

R 420.506 Purchasing limits; transactions; marihuana sales location Rule 6. (1) Before the sale or transfer of marihuana product to a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver, under the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, the licensee shall verify in the statewide monitoring system that the sale or transfer does not exceed either of the daily purchasing limits as follows: (a) For a registered qualifying patient, an amount of marihuana product that does not, in total, exceed 2.5 ounces of marihuana or marihuana equivalent per day. (b) For a registered primary caregiver, an amount of marihuana product that does not, in total, exceed 2.5 ounces of marihuana or marihuana equivalent per day for each registered qualifying patient with whom he or she is connected through the agency’s registration process. (2) Before the sale or transfer of marihuana product to a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver, under the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, the licensee shall verify in the statewide monitoring system that the sale or transfer does not exceed the monthly purchasing limit of 10 ounces of marihuana product per month to a qualifying patient, either directly or through the qualifying patient’s registered primary caregiver. (3) A marihuana retailer, under the Michigan regulation and taxation of marihuana act, is prohibited from making a sale or transferring marihuana to an adult 21 years of age or older in a single transaction that exceeds 2.5 ounces, except that not more than 15 grams of marihuana may be in the form of marihuana concentrate. (4) A marihuana sales location may sell no more than 3 immature plants to a marihuana customer per transaction.

Explained

Here's the basics on purchase limits:

  • Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis each day, so long as they don’t exceed 10 ounces of medical cannabis in a single month.

    • Recreational cannabis users can cultivate up to 12 plants per household. You can have any amount of cannabis if that cannabis was specifically harvested from those plants.

    • If you do not cultivate your own cannabis, you can have up to 10 ounces of cannabis in your home, but only 2.5 ounces in your possession. (The rest needs to be stored)

  • Adult-use, recreational cannabis consumers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis at a time, with no more than 15 grams of concentrate.

  • You are allowed 12 plants per household, not per 21-year-old. These plant amounts do not replace medical marihuana plants

  • Patients and caregivers can possess up to 2.5 ounces total of marijuana.

    • A caregiver can possess up to 2.5 oz of marihuana per patient. A caregiver can also be a patient and help up to 5 other patients: 72 total plants and 15 total oz in their possession if they have all 6 cards.

  • All cannabis plants must be grown in a locked, enclosed space.

Law #3: Packaging and labels

Legal reference

333.27958 Rules; limitations (e) Testing, packaging, and labeling standards, procedures, and requirements for marihuana, including, but not limited to, all of the following: (i) A maximum tetrahydrocannabinol level for marihuana-infused products. (ii) A requirement that a representative sample of marihuana be tested by a marihuana safety compliance facility. (iii) A requirement that the amount of marihuana or marihuana concentrate contained within a marihuana-infused product be specified on the product label. (iv) A requirement that all marihuana sold through marihuana retailers and marihuana microbusinesses include on the exterior of the marihuana packaging the following warning printed in clearly legible type and surrounded by a continuous heavy line: WARNING: USE BY PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING WOMEN, OR BY WOMEN PLANNING TO BECOME PREGNANT, MAY RESULT IN FETAL INJURY, PRETERM BIRTH, LOW BIRTH WEIGHT, OR DEVELOPMENTAL PROBLEMS FOR THE CHILD. (f) Security requirements, including lighting, physical security, and alarm requirements, and requirements for securely transporting marihuana between marihuana establishments. The requirements described in this subdivision must not prohibit cultivation of marihuana outdoors or in greenhouses.

Explained

  • Edible marijuana-infused candy in packaging attractive to children is not allowed. The state is currently watching edible packaging: you cannot have any sort of cartoons, caricatures, toys, designs, or shapes. This would include things as simple as the picture of a fruit on fruit-flavored products.

  • Packaging must be opaque, resealable, and child-resistant.

  • The following warning must be printed in clearly legible type and surrounded by a continuous heavy line: WARNING: USE BY PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING WOMEN, OR BY WOMEN PLANNING TO BECOME PREGNANT, MAY RESULT IN FETAL INJURY, PRETERM BIRTH, LOW BIRTH WEIGHT, OR DEVELOPMENTAL PROBLEMS FOR THE CHILD

Law #4: Taxes

Legal reference

T333.27963 Imposition of excise tax. Sec. 13. 1. In addition to all other taxes, an excise tax is imposed on each marihuana retailer and on each marihuana microbusiness at the rate of 10% of the sales price for marihuana sold or otherwise transferred to anyone other than a marihuana establishment. 2. Except as otherwise provided by a rule promulgated by the department of treasury, a product subject to the tax imposed by this section may not be bundled in a single transaction with a product or service that is not subject to the tax imposed by this section. 3. The department of treasury shall administer the taxes imposed under this act and may promulgate rules pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to MCL 24.328, that prescribe a method and manner for payment of the tax to ensure proper tax collection under this act.

Explained

  • Marijuana retailers are subject to a 10% excise tax. Adult-use purchases are subject to a 10% marijuana excise tax in addition to the state’s 6% sales tax.

  • Medical marijuana purchases are only subject to the statewide 6% sales tax.

Law #5: Dispensary requirements and limitations

Legal reference

333.27961 Marihuana establishments; requirements; limitations. Sec. 11. (a) A marihuana establishment may not allow cultivation, processing, sale, or display of marihuana or marihuana accessories to be visible from a public place outside of the marihuana establishment without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids. (b) A marihuana establishment may not cultivate, process, test, or store marihuana at any location other than a physical address approved by the department and within an enclosed area that is secured in a manner that prevents access by persons not permitted by the marihuana establishment to access the area. (c) A marihuana establishment shall secure every entrance to the establishment so that access to areas containing marihuana is restricted to employees and other persons permitted by the marihuana establishment to access the area and to agents of the department or state and local law enforcement officers and emergency personnel and shall secure its inventory and equipment during and after operating hours to deter and prevent theft of marihuana and marihuana accessories. (d) No marihuana establishment may refuse representatives of the department the right during the hours of operation to inspect the licensed premises or to audit the books and records of the marihuana establishment. (e) No marihuana establishment may allow a person under 21 years of age to volunteer or work for the marihuana establishment. (f) No marihuana establishment may sell or otherwise transfer marihuana that was not produced, distributed, and taxed in compliance with this act. (g) A marihuana grower, marihuana retailer, marihuana processor, marihuana microbusiness, or marihuana testing facility or agents acting on their behalf may not transport more than 15 ounces of marihuana or more than 60 grams of marihuana concentrate at one time. (h) A marihuana secure transporter may not hold title to marihuana.

Explained

  • Marijuana establishments aren’t allowed to sell or transfer tobacco.

  • Marijuana cultivation, processing, sales, displays, or marijuana products can’t be visible from a public place outside the establishment without binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids.

  • Dispensaries can’t cultivate, process, test, or store marijuana at locations other than the physical address approved by the department. The location must be enclosed and secure, with areas containing marijuana only accessible to employees.

  • Dispensaries must always allow department representatives to inspect the premises and audit books and records.

  • Employees of the cannabis business must be at least 21 years old.

  • Marijuana facilities can only sell marijuana produced, distributed, and taxed in compliance.

  • Marijuana growers, retailers, processors, microbusinesses, and testing facilities can’t transport more than 15 ounces of marijuana or 60 grams of concentrate at a time.

  • Marijuana secure transporters can’t hold title to marijuana.

Security requirements

Legal reference

R 420.209 Security measures; required plan; video surveillance system.

Rule 9. (1) An applicant for a marihuana license to operate a proposed marihuana business shall

submit a security plan that demonstrates, at a minimum, the ability to meet the requirements of

this rule.

(2) A licensee shall ensure that any person at the marihuana business, except for employees of

the licensee, are escorted at all times by the licensee or an employee of the licensee when in the

limited access areas and restricted access areas at the marihuana business.

(3) A licensee shall securely lock the marihuana business, including interior rooms as required

by the agency, windows, and points of entry and exits, with commercial-grade, nonresidential door

locks or other electronic or keypad access. Locks on doors that are required for egress must meet

the requirements of NFPA 1, local fire codes, and the Michigan building code, R 408.30401 to R

408.30499.

(4) A licensee shall maintain an alarm system at the marihuana business. Upon request, a licensee

shall make available to the agency all information related to the alarm system, monitoring, and

alarm activity.

(5) A licensee shall have a video surveillance system that, at a minimum, consists of digital or

network video recorders, cameras capable of meeting the recording requirements in this rule, video

monitors, digital archiving devices, and a color printer capable of delivering still photos.

(6) A licensee shall ensure the video surveillance system does all the following:

(a) Records, at a minimum, the following areas:

(i) Any areas where marihuana products are weighed, packed, stored, loaded, and unloaded for

transportation, prepared, or moved within the marihuana business.

(ii) Limited access areas and security rooms. Transfers between rooms must be recorded.

(iii) Areas storing a surveillance system storage device with not less than 1 camera recording

the access points to the secured surveillance recording area.

(iv) The entrances and exits to the building, which must be recorded from both indoor and

outdoor vantage points.

(v) The areas of entrance and exit between marihuana businesses at the same location if

applicable, including any transfers between marihuana businesses.

(vi) Point of sale areas where marihuana products are sold and displayed for sale.

(vii) Areas where marihuana or marihuana products are destroyed.

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Courtesy of Michigan Administrative Rules

(b) Records images effectively and efficiently of the area under surveillance with a minimum of

720p resolution.

(7) A licensee shall ensure that each camera is permanently mounted and in a fixed location. Each

camera must be placed in a location that allows the camera to clearly record activity occurring

within 20 feet of all points of entry and exit on the marihuana business and allows for the clear and

certain identification of any person, including facial features, and activities, including sales or

transfers, in all areas required to be recorded under these rules.

(8) A licensee shall have sufficient lighting to meet the video surveillance system requirements

of this rule.

(9) A licensee shall have cameras that record when motion is detected at the marihuana business

and record images that clearly and accurately display the time and date.

(10) A licensee shall secure the physical media or storage device on which surveillance recordings

are stored in a manner to protect the recording from tampering or theft.

(11) A licensee shall keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 30 calendar days, except in

instances of investigation or inspection by the agency in which case the licensee shall retain the

recordings until the time as the agency notifies the licensee that the recordings may be destroyed.

(12) Surveillance recordings of the licensee are subject to inspection by the agency and must be

kept in a manner that allows the agency to view and obtain copies of the recordings at the

marihuana business immediately upon request. The licensee shall also send or otherwise provide

copies of the recordings to the agency upon request within the time specified by the agency.

(13) A licensee shall maintain a video surveillance system equipped with a failure notification

system that provides notification to the licensee of any interruption or failure of the video

surveillance system or video surveillance system storage device.

(14) A licensee shall maintain a log of the recordings, which includes all of the following:

(a) The identity of the employee or employees responsible for monitoring the video surveillance

system.

(b) The identity of the employee who removed any recording from the video surveillance system

storage device and the time and date removed.

(c) The identity of the employee who destroyed any recording.

(15) The requirements of this rule do not apply to the following license types under the MRTMA:

(a) A designated consumption establishment applicant or licensee.

(b) A marihuana event organizer applicant or licensee.

(c) A temporary marihuana event applicant or licensee.

To ensure the safety and integrity of cannabis businesses in Michigan, specific security measures are mandated as follows:

Restricted access:

  • Anyone other than the licensee's employees must be accompanied by the licensee or an employee in limited access and restricted access areas within the marihuana business.

Secure locks:

  • Licensees must securely lock the entire marihuana business, including interior rooms, windows, and entry/exit points.

  • Commercial-grade, nonresidential door locks or electronic/keypad access must be used.

  • Egress doors must comply with NFPA 1, local fire codes, and Michigan building codes.

Alarm systems:

  • A licensee must maintain an effective alarm system at the marihuana business.

  • The agency can request information related to the alarm system, monitoring, and alarm activities.

Video surveillance systems:

  • A comprehensive video surveillance system is mandatory, including digital or network video recorders, suitable cameras, video monitors, digital archiving devices, and a color printer for still photos.

Surveillance system requirements:

  • The video surveillance system must record specific areas, including sales, storage, entry/exit points, and more.

  • Minimum resolution of 720p is required for clear imaging.

  • Cameras must be permanently mounted and strategically placed to capture relevant activity.

Lighting:

  • Adequate lighting must be maintained to meet video surveillance system requirements.

Motion detection and recording:

  • Cameras must record upon detecting motion and display accurate time and date information.

Secure storage:

  • Physical media or storage devices containing surveillance recordings must be secured to prevent tampering or theft.

Retention period:

  • Licensees must keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 30 days, except when an agency investigation or inspection is ongoing.

Accessibility and Inspection:

    • Agency inspectors must be able to immediately access and obtain copies of surveillance recordings upon request.

    • Licensees must provide copies of recordings to the agency as requested within the specified timeframe.

    Failure notification:

      • A failure notification system for the video surveillance system is required, alerting the licensee to any interruptions or failures.

      Log maintenance:

        • A log of recordings must be kept, including details about monitoring employees and any actions taken with recordings.

        Law #6: Delivery

        Legal reference

        See this document from the state for full details on Michigan's cannabis delivery program.

        Explained

        Michigan regulation allows provisioning centers and marihuana retailers to engage in delivery services with an additional MRA approval. Delivery drivers may transport up to 15 ounces of marijuana and up to 60 grams of marijuana concentrate before revisiting the dispensary for additional orders.

          Law #7: Qualifying conditions

          Legal reference

          See the state of Michigan's website for a full list of qualifying conditions.

          Explained

          According to the MRA, patients must have one of the following conditions to qualify for a medical marijuana license:

          • Alzheimer's disease

          • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease

          • Cancer

          • Crohn's disease

          • Glaucoma

          • Hepatitis C

          • HIV/AIDS

          • Nail-patella syndrome

          • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome

          • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy

          • Severe and chronic pain

          • Severe nausea

          • Severe and persistent muscle spasms and multiple sclerosis

          See the state page to learn more about the application process for a medical marijuana card, and to apply.

          Michigan cannabis laws FAQs

          Is recreational cannabis legal in Michigan?

          Recreational cannabis has been legal in Michigan since late 2018.

          How is marijuana taxed in Michigan?

          Recreational cannabis has a 10% excise tax. Adult-use purchases are subject to the 10% marijuana excise tax in addition to the state’s 6% sales tax.

          Medical marijuana purchases are only subject to the statewide 6% sales tax.

          How much weed can I buy in Michigan?

          Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis each day, so long as they don’t exceed 10 ounces of medical cannabis in a single month.

          Adult-use, recreational cannabis consumers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis per transaction.

          Is Flowhub compliant with Michigan’s medical marijuana regulations?

          Yes! Flowhub was the first integrator with Metrc, so we have a deep understanding of how to keep your dispensary compliant. We also are compliant with Michigan's cannabis regulations.

          Disclaimer: The material contained on this website and any attached or referenced pages has been compiled by Flowhub for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. This post is current as of 8/12/2021. Cannabis regulations are rapidly changing, and legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.

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