Adult use cannabis sales in Michigan may be held until 2020

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Adult use cannabis sales in Michigan may be held until 2020

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Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

Michigan voters legalized social use cannabis in November, and legalization has officially gone into effect. As High Times notes, though, there’s nowhere to buy social use cannabis at the moment. Residents can grow their own, or buy from the medical market, but no retail stores are ready for customers yet.

Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Cannabis News Box that he expects sales will begin sometime in 2020. Many advocates are saying they expect sales to begin in the next few months. Unfortunately, there are no licensed businesses yet and the government body in charge of providing licenses isn’t really moving forward with the process yet.

Matthew Abel, the executive director of Michigan’s NORML branch, told High Times that this agency is being stubborn and refusing to move forward so far. He said the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has essentially “stuck their heads in the sand” and is harming the process.

“Michigan needs to work quickly and efficiently to prevent any delays of its adult use regulatory program. It also needs to ensure it is in line with the language and intent of the voter-approved initiative,” Tvert said. “Legalization in Michigan highlights just how widespread support is for ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S. It does not only enjoy strong support on the coasts but also in every region in between.”

Tvert said he believes Michigan legalizing cannabis will encourage legalization around the Midwest. Many are looking to Illinois to see how soon the state will legalize, and that’s not the only state in the region that looks like it might legalize relatively soon.

“Lawmakers in Illinois are taking a close look at legislation to regulate marijuana for adult use, and the incoming governor has expressed support, as well,” Tvert said. “A supportive governor was also elected in Minnesota, which could lead to a more robust debate about broader reform. Ohio is just getting its medical cannabis program up and running, but it would not come as a surprise to see a ballot initiative push in 2020 to regulate marijuana more broadly for adult use.”

Though there may be delays and politicians who want to halt the momentum of the legalization movement, it’s clear citizens are ready to push this movement forward, even in the Midwest. Those who oppose legalization may slow down what’s happening across the country, but it seems highly unlikely they’ll be able to stop this movement.