Recreational Marijuana in Michigan
In December of 2018, the adult citizens of Michigan voted in favor of passing a law to legalize recreational marijuana. So, since that date adults in Michigan 21 and older have been allowed to keep and consume marijuana without any type of medical justification. However, no Michigan resident can lawfully buy weed recreationally because it has not been regulated to legally be for sale in any stores. For now, the only licensed marijuana businesses in Michigan are the medical dispensaries that are regulated to sell cannabis to patients that have a medical marijuana card.
The Difference Between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana in Michigan
- Medical marijuana contains high CBD content and recreational marijuana contains a high THC content. This means that medical marijuana focuses more on offering treatment for pain and existing conditions while recreational marijuana is taken for the euphoric high effects on the mind.
- You need a recommendation from a doctor to purchase medical marijuana. For recreational marijuana you don’t need any documents or recommendations; you just go into any marijuana store and purchase whatever you like as long as you are over the age of 21.
- The legal age to purchase marijuana for medical reasons is 18 and possibly younger depending on the state. The legal age to purchase recreational marijuana is 21.
Giving Marijuana as A Gift in Michigan
The leaders of Michigan have been given a year to regulate the selling of recreational marijuana. Therefore, no one can legally purchase marijuana in Michigan without a medical marijuana card until at least January of 2020. However, there are rules under this new recreational law that allow legal adults older than 21 to giveaway marijuana to another adult. It states that gifting marijuana is okay as long as the free marijuana is not over 15 grams or given to someone younger than the age of 21.
It is to be assumed under this new recreational law that the person gifting marijuana is a medical marijuana card holder that grew or purchased the giveaway marijuana legally under Michigan’s medical marijuana laws. Entrepreneurs in Michigan have figured out a way to take advantage of these free marijuana gift laws by saying their companies sell items like books, t-shirts, or chocolate that come with an offer of a free gift. For those companies, that free gift is always going to be marijuana.
The way it works is that a specific company will sell an item or a package with many items that contain normal products that are sold everywhere. The only thing is that these companies name their products in terms generally used by those in the marijuana industry. The Hybrid Art Red Wing Hot Box is a package from a company in Michigan that comes with many everyday items and includes an empty cone that is supposed to be used for rolling up a joint. Those who select a Lit Bag will receive a free gift of marijuana though it does not state that marijuana will be the free gift. A t-shirt company whose shirts cost from $80 to over $300 states on their website that since the Michigan law allows the gifting of marijuana, anyone that buys one of their T-shirts can also get a free gift of their choice with free delivery of that gift.
A book company in Michigan also uses marijuana terms with book packages that cost from $65 to $400 having names like the Brownie Edible Book Bundle to let customers know the gift is probably something to eat that has marijuana in it. They check each customer’s ID after they purchase the books to make sure they’re over 21, then they separately give them their gift. The owner of a company that sells sweet items and gives free gifts of marijuana told the Michigan News that he and his employees do not touch the marijuana at any time. He maintains that the drivers are the ones who are actually giving the gift at their own discretion while all his company does is sell chocolate.
The Legalities of Giving Away Marijuana in Michigan
Michigan lawyers have been known to advise the owners of these companies that the entire issue of recreational marijuana and medical marijuana is really just a big gray area. The lawyers feel that way because any state’s law legalizing marijuana is different from the federal law of the government. This means that despite the fact that medical marijuana is legal, the federal government can still decide to shut down a dispensary if it chooses to.
This thought process leads business owners in Michigan to believe that giving away free marijuana as a legal gift should be okay. The Cass County Prosecutor has advised these companies to practice caution and tread softly when giving away marijuana as a gift because potential prosecution is a possibility; though with the gifting law in place, it is probably unlikely.
What’s Next for Recreational Marijuana in Michigan
- The Marijuana Regulatory Agency has stated it will let people start applying for a Marijuana Business License on November 1, 2019.
- Recreational marijuana dispensary stores are expected to be open in the beginning of 2020 by March at least.
- There will soon be people smoking and eating marijuana at events and festival in Michigan if the organizers of those events decide to get a state permit.
- There will also be clubs and lounges that allow the smoking of marijuana through food and alcohol sales are not expected to be allowed at these places of business.
- Starting a recreational marijuana dispensary will be easier than the current requirements to start a medical marijuana dispensary with lower starting fees.
- Current business owners of a medical marijuana dispensary can easily begin selling recreational marijuana once the laws are regulated for it.
- There is expected to be a social equity plan for recreational marijuana in Michigan that is being created by state officials. According to this plan, the application fees for certain applicants that qualify could be reduced or waived completely.
Cannabis Property Brokers
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