Recreational Marijuana Use in Michigan: What You Need To Know


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When it comes to medical marijuana use, the state of Michigan has well-formed laws, guidelines and procedures in place to safeguard public health and safety. The state exercises constant oversight with its initiatives for safe use and research, along with its own Marijuana Regulatory Agency leading the charge.

Though medicinal uses for marijuana have been legal in Michigan since 2008, it would take another decade for the state to allow the use of recreational marijuana for citizens ages 21 and over. This met with some pushback throughout the state, with a few hundred communities banning marijuana businesses from setting up shop in their respective areas. Regardless, there is still a high demand for recreational use and a low quantity of suppliers. As recreational marijuana use grows in the state, its impact on the economy and health of Michigan’s citizens grows. Here are some things you should know about recreational marijuana in Michigan.

Michigan’s state laws and guidelines for recreational use

In Michigan, recreational marijuana is much more restricted than the medical version. Per Michigan state law, a person can only possess up to 2.5 ounces away from home, 10 ounces at home, no more than 15 grams of cannabis concentrates and can grow up to 12 cannabis plants. They must be 21 years or older to purchase recreational marijuana and most importantly, it is illegal to consume it in public, while driving or to take or send it out of the state.

Finding a recreational supplier in Michigan

Locating a licensed recreational marijuana dispensary in Michigan is getting easier, but still presents a few challenges. As it is still new and some communities are actively disallowing dispensaries from operating, finding recreational marijuana in Michigan is best accomplished by using search engines, online locator services or checking with the states Marijuana Regulatory Agency for a full list of licensed suppliers in the state.

How recreational marijuana affects your health

While medical marijuana has plenty of benefits—mostly applying to the treatment of inflammation/pain, muscle spasms, epilepsy and other chronic illnesses—recreational marijuana is intended for enjoyment or relaxing. Marijuana has different effects based on the person, its potency and how it is consumed. There’s an important reason the state regulates how much a person is allowed to legally possess or consume: the risks associated with using it in both the short and long term.

While it’s accurate to say marijuana can give you a relaxed or joyful feeling, along with briefly more sensitive senses, it can also make you perceive time differently, have an increased appetite or a temporary loss of coordination. Other potential risks of marijuana use include dizziness, difficulty walking, excessive giggling, bloodshot eyes, memory issues and sleepiness. Long term, excessive marijuana use may lead to withdrawal, depression, hostility, tiredness and worst of all, possible psychological dependency. This becomes problematic with edibles, as it is easier to take too much due to how slowly they work compared to other methods of use.

Impact on Michigan’s economy

Per a 2016 economic impact report, the medical sales of marijuana in Michigan were projected to help boost the economy between $44.3 million to $63.5 million a year if reforms of the original 2008 medical marijuana bill that allowed fair and open competition in a free market setting were to be passed. By regulating commercial marijuana enterprises, the state hoped to protect consumers from black market medical marijuana sales while generating major revenue for the state of Michigan. Four years later, the impact of recreational marijuana in the state shows rapid maturity with a few barriers. The main problems are that too many local jurisdictions are opting out of allowing marijuana businesses to operate at all and having cannabis tested properly is taking too long. There are also some supply chain issues, with demand for recreational marijuana higher than the limited supply. Tax revenue from marijuana sales can boost the economy significantly, however, and may convince more communities to allow marijuana businesses to operate within their jurisdictions over time.

The future of recreational marijuana in Michigan

As Michigan continues to grow, develop and regulate both its recreational and medical marijuana initiatives, there are many hurdles that need to be cleared to lock in their future success. The economic impact and additional tax revenue can help the state with additional funding that can benefit public services and citizens. Recreational marijuana may even become a major tourism draw in the future. With recreational marijuana sales only sitting at a mere fraction of their potential right now, there is still a long way to go before recreational marijuana reaches its potential in the state. With time, dedicated resources, health initiatives and proper regulation, Michigan is poised to become an example of successful implementation of legalizing recreational marijuana at the state level.

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