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Michigan Begins Recreational Cannabis Sales

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Dec 02, 2019   
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The first legal recreational cannabis product has been sold in Michigan, nearly one year after adult use was formally legalized by the state.

The buyer, local cannabis activist John Sinclair, was at the head of a long line of eager customers in Ann Arbor who braved the December 1 weather for the historic moment.

But while the day was monumental for Sinclair and the other consumers in Ann Abor, anticipation was less high across the rest of Michigan, as state-wide roll-out has yet to begin.

Marijuana in Michigan

Recreational cannabis sales in Michigan were widely expected to begin in the spring of 2020. But, thanks to a provision in Michigan’s law, existing medical cannabis producers and retailers can transfer half of their inventory to the recreational market if they have the necessary license.

By December 1, three retail centers in Ann Abor had converted their stock and were ready to sell, while three more have been licensed and are prepping products.

But for those Michiganders looking for a more local dispensary, the wait might be some time.

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan on December 6, 2018, nearly 80 percent of municipalities in the state have chosen to prevent recreational sales in their communities. In early November, the Detroit City Council voted unanimously to opt out of the recreational business until January 31, 2020.

Recreational rules

Like many US states, anyone over the age of 21 in Michigan can purchase recreational marijuana provided they show a valid state ID or driver’s license to a licensed retailer.

State residents can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces on their person, or up to 10 ounces at home. However, it remains an illegal offence to possess marijuana on federal land or federally funded facilities, such as hospitals. Michiganders are also permitted to grow up to 12 plants for personal use.

THC concentrations are also capped for edible products. Gummies and baked goods can include a maximum of 10mg of THC per serving and 100mg per container, while capsules and tinctures are permitted to include 200mg per container.

As Michigan imposes a 10 percent excise tax on recreational cannabis, alongside an existing 6 percent sales tax, prices are expected to be higher than those for medical products. Arbors Wellness, one of the three retailers in Ann Abor, is charging $22 per gram, while edibles can cost up to $25.

One type of marijuana product not on sale, though, are vaping products; Michigan regulators temporarily paused sales of cannabis vaping liquids under new safety standards following the outbreak of lung injuries.

Leo Bear-McGuinness

Science Writer & Editor

Leo joined Analytical Cannabis in 2019. From research to regulations and analysis to agriculture, his writing covers all the need-to-know news for the cannabis industry. He holds a Bachelor's in Biology from Newcastle University and a Master's in Science Communication from the University of Edinburgh.


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