Recreational cannabis is for sale in Michigan just in time for the holidays. As of December 1st, dispensaries began legally selling recreational marijuana to adults over the age of 21.
Recreational users are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces in public and up to 10 ounces at home. This is in addition to being permitted to grow up to 12 plants on private property, which must not be visible from the outside.
Michigan legalized medical cannabis back in 2008, although the list of qualifying conditions was limited, and recreational use remained illegal. In 2018, Michigan residents voted to approve Prop. 1, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, making recreational cannabis legal throughout the state. Now, almost a year after the bill initially passed, Michiganders will finally be able to access recreational marijuana.
Medical marijuana sales in Michigan are logged into a state-run tracking system. Beginning at 10 am on December 1st, licensed dispensaries will be able to designate a portion of their medical cannabis supply for recreational use using the digital system. Then, following electronic approval from the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, dispensaries will be permitted to start sales right away.
The novel process of transferring from medical to recreational sales using the tracking system could be beneficial for the industry as a whole. This particular strategy has “created a spike in the wholesale price of the product. We finally have just seen improvement in inventory. The supply chain is extremely fragile. This is a move backward in our opinion. I’ve never seen anyone pull a cowboy stunt like this.” says Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director, Robin Schneider.
A spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, David Harns, told the Detroit News, “At 10 a.m. is when our employees get to work. I doubt it will happen right at 10. After 10 o’clock, we’ll approve it on our end, and the businesses have to do their part. After however long that takes them – after they do what they need to – they can start sales if they choose.”
Flower, edibles, capsules, tinctures, and topical products will all be available, however, as a result of the recent controversy over potential vaping-related deaths, no vaping products will be sold initially.
So far, only six dispensaries have applied and successfully received the proper licenses required for the legal sales of recreational cannabis. Of those, three dispensaries were set to begin recreational sales this past weekend; all three are located in Ann Arbor, including Arbors Wellness, Exclusive Brands’ Provisioning Centers, and Greenstone.
According to Exclusive Brands’ Executive Vice President of Business Development and Social Equity Program Director, Narmin Jarrous, “We do anticipate long lines and products going fairly quickly. We’re going to do our best so that our medical patients won’t be affected by the rush of recreational sales.”
Several dispensaries will continue to offer discounted prices for medical cannabis patients, including both Greenstone and Lit Provisioning Centers.