Cannabis in Michigan is legalized for both recreational and medical use. However, there is a big difference between legal marijuana use and unregulated use. Medical marijuana use was legalized in 2008 through the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. Recreational use was legalized 10 years later, in 2018, by the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. Both the initiative and the MRTM act have faced heavy divisions of the public opinion, both passing the vote with a narrow majority – respectively 63% and 56%. As such, it is fair to say that individuals who have an interest in the cannabis business, as consumers or operators, need to prepare for the potential consequences of this divisive subject. Unfair treatment could be a recurrent issue in some cases. Additionally, misinterpretation of the legislation at hand could also have drastic consequences for both individuals and businesses. 

The Michigan Marijuana regulations are also constantly reviewed and updated. Individuals who were familiar with legal requirements at the start of their business or consumption journey could find themselves falling into the cracks of the new regulations. 

We believe that professional Michigan marijuana lawyers are an indispensable ally for those who seek to understand and navigate the marijuana market safely. Below, we provide a brief review of the reasons why it pays off to work with marijuana lawyers in Michigan.

Marijuana law can vary from state to state

We appreciate that marijuana remains a new item in the legal history of the United States. That’s why there are no federal standards concerning the regulation of its use, process, handling, sale, and possession. Individual states have established their own set of laws, which can differ from a state to another. 

If you are new to Michigan state, you may not realize how much Michigan marijuana laws are different from where you used to live. Indeed, in some states, the medical and recreational use of marijuana is illegal. Others have legalized only one of those two uses, while some, such as Michigan have made both legal. 

Adult residents of Michigan, aged 21 or over, can possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana at home, and 2.5 ounces on their person outside of their residence. They are also permitted to transfer cannabis to another person. However, in other states, such as California, you can grow live plants and buy marijuana below 21. Failure to check age could also put commercial businesses at risk.

Citizens and business owners who are familiar with the regulations in other states could reach out to Michigan marijuana lawyers to better understand the differences. 


They keep up with the latest law changes

In October 2020, the MRA released an advisory bulletin introducing the future change in licensure, which affects marijuana businesses and their competition. The recent USDA’s approval of the MDA’s industrial hemp plan affects the registration process for hemp farms. For anyone who is interested in the marijuana business, there are a lot of changes and law updates to keep up with. We appreciated that legislation can feel confusing. Abrupt changes could make a previously legal operation illegal or see your authorization to grow and process hemp revoked. 

To avoid bad surprises, we recommend planning an annual review of your operations with expert Michigan marijuana lawyers, who can advise on the current legal trends. Typically, law updates are first announced before coming into force. The change in licensure for marijuana businesses, for instance, will only become active from march 2021. The federal approval of the industrial hemp plan will affect farms starting from their renewal date in November 2021. In other words, legal teams know long in advance about legal changes and can keep their clients informed. 


They can help you set up your business

Setting up a marijuana operation is a legal process. Whether you are a grower, handler, processor, transporter, or retailer, you will need to register your activities and fulfill the appropriate application process. 

For instance, if you want to grow hemp in Michigan, you need to register as a grower and provide legal information to complete your application. Hemp growers need to provide a legal description of their facility, which can be prepared by Michigan marijuana lawyers. They can also provide support with your criminal background check, which is also necessary for the application. 


They provide support in marijuana-related legal situations

Individuals who are worried about legal consequences for inappropriate use of cannabis can find the legal landscape challenging. Michigan marijuana lawyers can offer valuable advice and support to go through the process of protecting your rights. A good lawyer understands the challenges inherent to marijuana possession and use outside of the home, for instance, so they can provide guidance for your DCE. Ultimately, a lot of people are still learning about the marijuana business, which makes it easy to receive conflicting information. That’s where a lawyer can make the difference. 


They can help workers and employers

The legalization of medical marijuana has an impact on worker’s rights. Indeed, according to Michigan’s laws and courts, employers can enforce a drug-free work zone. Theoretically, it would give employers the right to let go of workers for marijuana use. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act doesn’t state that employers have to accommodate the use of marijuana in the workplace. Yet, House Bill 5161 would change the situation by stating that medical marijuana should be treated the same as pharmaceutical medications, requiring employers to prove it affects performance negatively. Should the bill be made into law, workers’ rights would be better protected for medical marijuana use even in marijuana businesses. Michigan marijuana lawyers can help understand how marijuana affects employment or reach an agreement between employer and employee. 


They understand the significant difference between medical & recreational use

The media can paint a confusing image of marijuana so that many newcomers to the market find it hard to differentiate recreational from medical use. Many argue that recreational use can also serve a medical purpose as cannabis can have a positive influence on individual health. 

A marijuana lawyer can help understand the authorized medical uses in Michigan. 

Working with Michigan marijuana lawyers gives you direct access to best practice and legal knowledge in the business. Whether you have a commercial or consumer interest, knowing your rights and obligations can help you protect your future. Feel free to contact our office to bring your marijuana involvement to the next level.