DETROIT – Michigan voters approved a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in the state on Tuesday. So, what happens next?
Well, the quick answer is, nobody really knows. We do know that just because the proposal passed, doesn't mean you can walk outside and buy weed at this very moment.
It will likely take several months, at least, for the Michigan legislature to write the laws, and even more time to get all of the marijuana businesses in the state set up with the proper licensing.
To start, here's how things would eventually work:
How would you buy marijuana?
You would be allowed to purchase the allowed amount of marijuana from a licensed business. Businesses would be licensed by the state. The initiative allows cities to decide if they want to allow these businesses in their municipality. The timeframe for when businesses could obtain such a license is unclear. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs probably won't be able to issue such licenses until 2019.
Can you grow your own marijuana?
Yes, you will be allowed to grow no more than 12 plants at your home. If you have a license you will be allowed to legally grow more.
Here are the license types that would be offered:
- Marijuana retailer
- Marijuana safety compliance facility
- Marijuana secure transporter
- Marijuana processor
- Marijuana microbusiness
- Class A marijuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 100 marijuana plants
- Class B marijuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 500 marijuana plants
- Class C marijuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 2,000 marijuana plants
Timeframe: Colorado law, as an example
Colorado voters approved recreational marijuana legalization in their state in 2012, but it didn't officially become legal to sell it until January 2014.
Colorado voters passed their initiative on Nov. 6, 2012 and had to wait a month until a new state amendment went into effect on Dec. 6, 2012, making marijuana officially legal in Colorado.
However, as stated, businesses were not legally allowed to sell marijuana until Jan. 1, 2014.
That's the kind of timeframe we could be looking at in Michigan. But it all depends on the legislature.
In Colorado, the state legislature had to create laws for marijuana use, driving and traveling, specific youth laws, laws for home growing, and more. As would be the case in Michigan, Colorado allows municipalities to pass their own stricter marijuana laws.
To read more about marijuana laws in Colorado, go here.