As of 2008, Michigan has been able to buy medical marijuana through its medical marijuana program as well as grow it for the use within the program. It also opened up the right to legally travel to Michigan with an out-of-state medical marijuana card and to be able to use it at the local dispensaries. Since then, the state has become quite a comfortable place to relax and enjoy your marijuana. So relaxed, they actually passed legislation in November of 2018 to legalize recreational marijuana, useful information relating to this is available on veriheal.com.
What makes this state unique in it legalization of marijuana for recreational use is that you can actually enjoy it on private property or in a business if they have been zoned for having marijuana use on their property. It is still an offense to light up in public and it carries $100 fine, but the legal gray areas are what makes a lot of marijuana users curious. Many people enjoy their recreational marijuana on their front porches, but since you are not inside the house, is it still legal? The same goes for if you are stilling in your car. If the neighbors can’t see you or your car, is it still illegal?
There are a lot of questions surrounding how and where people can enjoy their marijuana and a lot of the questions will have to wait to be answered. While it is legal for residents who are over the age of 21 to legally possess, transport and enjoy up-to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, or up to 10 ounces in nonpublic places many of the new locations for enjoying them are not open yet. As the law was just passed in November for recreational marijuana to be enjoyed in the state, many businesses are still in the process of getting their buildings, permits and other paperwork approved to have it.
The paperwork to convert a business to allow for marijuana to be consumed on the premises is being drafted and there are many places that are fighting for the privilege to be one of the first businesses to open as a marijuana-friendly place to smoke and until such a time as these places begin to open it is still considered illegal to smoke marijuana in public. The licensing process has yet to start, but the state hopes to begin issuing licenses officially starting in 2020. Businesses already holding licenses for medical marijuana will also be able to acquire a license so that their dispensary can dispense more than medical marijuana to those that want or need it.
Another hurdle to enjoying public consumption or use of marijuana is the buildings themselves. To be able to allow patrons to enjoy marijuana in their businesses a special filtration system needs to be placed on the premises so that the smoke can be properly vented from the property and while the legalization is still being drafted for most of the new law it can still be changed significantly before the actual launch date of the business licensing takes place. There are also several cities, villages, and townships in Michigan that are looking to pass further ordinances to regulate the use of marijuana for recreational use or to limit or ban it completely from businesses altogether. As any business looking to get into any piece of the marijuana industry has to gain local approval and support before it can even try to apply to a state license many establishments are considering ways around their own city’s impending restrictions.
At this point in time, you can’t buy medical marijuana for recreational use. The centers will continue to carry products for card-carrying registered patients only and caregivers will still be allowed to grow small amounts under the original 2008 law. They are also not allowed to give or sell marijuana to non-patients. It won’t be until the licenses and business are officially open for recreational use that people will be able to buy medical marijuana in the State of Michigan legally.
Along with being unable to buy marijuana legally in the State until the licenses and businesses officially open, it is still illegal to consume any marijuana and drive a motor vehicle. Marijuana will be treated like alcohol in this instance as even though it does not always impair cognitive functioning, it can still be a hazard if one is driving under the influence.
While it is still not completely legal to enjoy marijuana in public yet, the rules are being written and within the next year, several old and new businesses will hold licenses stating you can enjoy marijuana on their grounds. It will be over a year before the first establishments will open as there is a lot of work to be done in terms of paperwork and building modification, but it won’t be long until one can enjoy their marijuana legally in any number of locations outside the home.