A guide to Michigan’s recreational marijuana laws: What you should know

Whether you’re using cannabis or growing it these are the things to keep in mind in Michigan

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

As the cannabis industry in Michigan booms, it can be hard to keep up with the laws and regulations. How much marijuana can you possess? How does selling and cultivation work in the state? Can you gift marijuana? Where can you use marijuana? This guide will break down everything you need to know about cannabis law in Michigan.

Brief history

Although marijuana is still a controlled substance at the federal level, individual states have the ability to modify their own state laws. According to Grewal Law, Michigan was the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. In 2018, the the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was passed, legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

Where can you use cannabis products?

Michigan state law specifies that any use of cannabis must take place in private, such as the user’s own residence. It is illegal to use cannabis in a public space. It is also illegal to carry cannabis in areas frequented by children, such as schools or school busses.

It is also important to remember that there are some areas in the state that fall under federal jurisdiction rather than state law. In places like airports or government buildings, it is illegal to possess or use cannabis.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Can you be terminated for marijuana use in the workplace in Michigan?

When it comes to the workplace, employers are not required to accommodate medical or recreational marijuana use. In Michigan, according to Nolo,

Can you grow your own plants?

Michigan marijuana law allows persons 21 years or older to cultivate a total of 12 marijuana plants within their residence at a time. However, it is not a free for all. There are a lot of rules when it comes to recreational cultivation in Michigan.

According to Davis Law Group:

  • Plants must be kept in an enclosed, secure area that is not accessible by the public
  • Plants cannot be visible from outside your property/visible to the unaided eye of the public
  • The area must be closed and locked so that only you and those who have your permission can access the plants

As for rental properties, it is up to the landlord whether using recreational marijuana in addition to growing plants is allowed in a rented space. It is legal to grow in a rental property, but it is advised to check in with property management before starting a grow operation.

(Belgian Prosecutors Office via AP)

You know indoor cultivation is allowed, what about outside?

Similarly to the rules of cultivation indoors, outdoor plants must also not be visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure, according to the Clark Law Office.

It is also stated that marijuana must be grown within a stationary structure that is enclosed on all sides by chain-link fencing, wooden slats, or a similar material that prevents access by the general public and that is anchored, attached, or fixated to the ground.

Outdoor growing operations must be located on land that is owned, leased, or rented by the grower.

Most importantly, the operation must be equipped with functioning locks or other security devices that restrict access to only grower who owns, leases, or rents the property on which the structure is located.

One last important note about outdoor growing, Michigan law specifically states that after the cannabis is harvested, all drying, trimming, curing, or packaging must occur inside the building.

(AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Here are the potential penalties for possession, sales, and cultivation

Hopefully all precautions are being taken to ensure everything stays legal, but if you find yourself in a sticky situation, here is a break down of Michigan penalties depending on offense, provided by Norml, in relation to marijuana law:

Possession for personal use

OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. fine
Up to 2.5 oz. (on your person)No penaltyNone$0
Up to 10 oz. in the homeNo penaltyNone$0
More than 2.5 oz. up to 5 oz. (first offense)Civil infractionNone$500
More than 5 oz. (first offense)MisdemeanorNone$500

Possession in or within 1,000 feet of a park is either a felony or a misdemeanor, based on the judge’s discretion, and is punishable by a maximum of 2 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.

An adult may possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana; up to 15 grams of marijuana may be marijuana concentrate.

Within a residence, an adult may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana and any marijuana produced by marijuana cultivated on the premises.

Sale or distribution

OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. fine
Distribution of less than 2.5 oz. without remunerationNo penaltyNone$0
Distribution of less than 5 oz. without remunerationCivil infractionNone$500
Sale of less than 5 kg.Felony4 years$20,000
Sale of 5 kg. - 45 kg.Felony7 years$500,000
45 kg. or moreFelony15 years$10,000,000

An adult may transfer up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to another adult as long as there is no remuneration and the transfer is not advertised or promoted to the public.


*A term of imprisonment may be imposed if “the violation was habitual, willful, and for a commercial purpose or the violation involved violence.”

OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. fine
Less than 12 plants for personal useNo penaltyNone$0
12-24 plants for personal useCivil infractionNone$500
25-200 plants for personal useMisdemeanorNone*$0
More than 200 plants for personal useMisdemeanorNone*$0

An adult may grow up to 12 marijuana plants at the adult’s residence for personal use.

An adult may not grow marijuana plants “if the plants are visible from a public place” or if the plants are growing outside of a secure area. A violation of this section is punishable as a civil offense with a fine not to exceed $100 and forfeiture of the marijuana.

Hash & concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the possession for personal use section for further details.

About the Author:

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of 2022. She is also studying political science and communications at Wayne State University.