One of the more significant outcomes of the midterm elections this past November was the legalization of adult-use, or recreational, cannabis in Michigan. Voters in the state passed Proposition 1 by a 56-44 percent margin, and in doing so, created the first recreational cannabis market in the Midwest.
This historic vote will have far-reaching implications, as Michigan already has the second-largest medical marijuana market by cardholder count in the country. With the new law into effect as of Dec. 6, there are many months of rulemaking to come before the state’s adult-use market will be ready to launch.
Proposition 1 was unique in several ways. The initiative allows individuals 21 years of age and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles. It also allows Michigan residents to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption in their household; that 12-plant limit is one of the highest home grow allowances in the country. The law does, however, impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences. New recreational use commercial licenses were also created, but municipalities will retain significant control over the commercial aspects of legalization, as they have the right to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.
Denise Pollicella is an attorney based out of Howell, Michigan, who has been representing clients in Michigan’s medical marijuana space for a decade. “At the municipal level, we’re going to see a lot of these cities making a decision as to whether they are going to allow commercial licenses for the sale of adult use cannabis,” says Pollicella. She warns, however, that there is still substantial confusion on the local level regarding the process for allowing any kind of marijuana-related business activity. “The impression a lot of these municipalities have is that if they allow medical marijuana, they think they have