Almost 1,000 Michigan communities opt out of recreational cannabis sales

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Within the next two months, the people of Michigan will be able to legally purchase recreational cannabis inside licensed stores. However, the plant will not be available to purchase in every community.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) published emergency rules in July that meant the ballot language would not be effectuated until January 2020, at the very earliest. This is according to MRA spokesman David Harns, who says that the cannabis products will need to be tested for a number of weeks prior to being sold.

On November 1, 2019, the MRA was excepting recreational cannabis business applications from both cultivators and retail store owners. Licenses are anticipated to be distributed among successful applicants throughout November and December of this year.

Aside from the fact that cannabis must first be tested, there is another obstacle facing the industry – areas in which consumers reside will affect whether or not they must travel outside of town to get their hands on legal bud.

Communities opt out, but can opt back in if they wish

Close to 1,000 communities in Michigan have reportedly opted out of recreational cannabis sales. Included in the list of communities that disagree with the idea of retail cannabis sales include Dearborn, Livonia, Novi, Port Huron, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Sterling Heights.

If a community decides that they do eventually want to join the “Green Rush” and permit recreational cannabis sales in Michigan, they will have the opportunity to do so. This is likely to happen in a handful of Michigan communities at the very least; considering the fact that many opted out as a means of observing the rollout of adult-use sales statewide before making a decision.

Communities that are home to individuals who voted against Michigan’s adult-use cannabis sales proposal back in November are among those that opted out. Caps have been imposed on the number of cultivated and retail businesses permitted in specific communities.

Communities that have not revealed if they will be allowing recreational cannabis sales in Michigan or not are considered to have opted in. 

Overview of Michigan recreational cannabis rules

Medical cannabis was legalized in Michigan back in November 2008, resulting in the state becoming the 13th in the U.S. to pass such a law. Then, in November of last year, a voter-approved proposal went into effect, making Michigan the 10th U.S. state to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes

Under the terms of Michigan’s adult use cannabis law, individuals aged 21 and over will be able to legally purchase bud from licensed dispensaries. Possession to the amount of 2.5 ounces will be permitted outside of the home, whereas a maximum of 10 ounces will be permitted inside the home. 

Moreover, adults who are of legal age to buy and consume recreational cannabis in Michigan will be allowed to grow no more than 12 plants inside the home and possess 15 grams of concentrated cannabis.

Click here to view the full list of communities that have opted out for recreational cannabis sales in Michigan.