Marijuana Law in the History of Michigan

Historically Michigan had a strict prohibition on the use of marijuana. The ban was enforced through harsh penalties because marijuana was a schedule one restricted substance at the federal level. It was a misdemeanor to have any amount of marijuana, and punishment for such possession was a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of $2000.

Cultivation and distribution were punished even more harshly. Sale or growth of cannabis attracted a sentence of 15 years in prison and $10,000,000 fine if convicted. This was the same punishment that was meted out on people who sold hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, among others.

A person who shared their marijuana for free or grew it for personal use was not spared by the law either. They were liable to incarceration for a maximum of 90 days and a fine of up to $1000 upon conviction. This punishment was similar to the one meted out on users as it was also illegal to use the drug. It is important to note that the law, at the time, made no distinction between those who used it for recreational purposes and those who used it for therapeutic purposes.

The tide on the legality of marijuana in Michigan started turning slowly, not at the state but the municipal level. Local governments began changing their attitudes towards cannabis and, accordingly, issued less and less punitive regulations for its use. While municipalities loosened restrictions, state laws still superseded municipal laws. Thus started the trend where higher and lower levels of government had marijuana laws that were at odds with each other.

Municipals liberalized their laws on weed as follows:-

Ann Arbor – 1972

Detroit – 2012

Kalamazoo- 2012

Flint – 2012

Ypsilanti – 2012

Grand Rapids – 2012

Ferndale – 2013

Jackson – 2013

Lansing – 2013

Hazel Park – 2014

Oak Park – 2014

Pleasant Ridge- 2014

Saginaw – 2014

Port Huron – 2014

Berkley – 2014

Mount Pleasant – 2014

Huntington Woods – 2014

East Lansing – 2015

Keego Harbor – 2015

Portage – 2015

All these municipalities made their regulations against recreational use less restrictive before the state followed suit.  The state later legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults in 2018 – we shall have a more in-depth look at the new state law on recreational use of cannabis later. In the meantime, let’s look at the therapeutic use and the law.

In 2008 the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative was presented to voters as a ballot measure. It was passed with 63% of the votes cast on 6th November.

This measure provided that seriously sick and terminally ill patients could use marijuana for the management of their symptoms. For a patient to qualify, they had to have a recommendation from a qualified physician. The initiative listed diseases that qualified to use weed legally. It also allowed patients or their caregivers to grow a limited number of plants, which would be their source. The law also established a registry of licensed users and put restrictions on public use of marijuana. The provisions of this measure have been explained in greater detail below.

Called the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the introduction of this ballot measure was based on scientific evidence that indicated the possibility of cannabis having health benefits in some cases. The law provides that a physician recommending a patient for the use of medical marijuana should provide ample documentary evidence. The evidence is intended to show a genuine doctor-patient relationship between the two. Documents should also establish beyond doubt that the patient the doctor recommends has one of the qualifying diseases. Evidence for the existence of a doctor-patient relationship is also a way to show that the doctor will keep providing care for the patient even after they start using cannabis.

Qualifying Conditions

The law spells out the specific illnesses it considers debilitating enough to qualify to use medical marijuana. They are also the diseases on which cannabis has been proven effective by science. These illnesses include: –

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV positive individuals and those who have full-blown AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Nail patella

Other conditions that are not listed may qualify a patient to use medical marijuana if they have the following symptoms or if their treatment leads to the following side effects: –

  • Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
  • Severe, chronic pain
  • Hyperemesis (severe nausea)
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms that are severe and persistent such as those experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is the body charged with the responsibility of determining whether or not a person qualifies. Once a person has been authorized, the department enters their name into the registry. It then issues them with a Registry Identification Card, which is the document the patient or their caregiver keeps to show that they are qualified.

The original legislation didn’t provide for selling cannabis, but it allowed authorized patients to grow a maximum of six plants each. These plants were to be their source, and it remained an offense to sell weed even among qualifying patients. The law also provided that the patient or caregiver could only have a maximum of 2.5 ounces of the drug on them at any particular time. It is against the law for a qualified patient to use the weed in a public place as such usage would contribute to second-hand smoke on other people.


After passing this law, the number of qualified patients increased, making it necessary for marijuana businesses to play a role in distribution. As the law stood, these businesses were illegal and without a regulatory framework. This exposed users to all manner of risks. Business operators also faced reprisals from law enforcers even when they only sold to authorized customers because the law as it stood forbid the selling of the product.

To remedy the situation, the state legislature passed three bills, all of which were signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in September 2016. These three bills allowed for the establishment of marijuana businesses and a regulatory framework for them. The regulations in these bills also provided protections for customers against rogue marijuana sellers.

Besides the 2.5 ounces of marijuana, the amendment allows users also to have what it calls ‘usable marijuana equivalents.’ This refers to products infused with cannabis such as cookies, gummies, and oils, among others. The law equates 1 ounce of marijuana to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles.  They also equate it to seven grams of marijuana-infused vapor or gas, such as vape from shatter or vape oil.

If the alternative formulation is a beverage or another liquid, one ounce of dry weed is equated to 36 liquid ounces of the drink. A patient or caregiver should calculate to ensure they don’t have on them an equivalent of more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

The next category of players affected by this amendment are sellers of marijuana. This category of players evolved from caregivers.   With time, as patients increased, caregivers established provision centers from which those, who for any reason, couldn’t get cannabis from their plants could get the weed they needed. Those who had extra marijuana from their plants would also take their surplus to the provision centers. The court, however, ruled that these provision centers were operating outside the law.

The amendment put in place a regulatory framework for other players in the chain of production. These include farmers, processors, laboratories, transporters, and, eventually, the provision centers. This means that these crucial players no longer operated outside of the law. It also protected users because the state could now regulate the quality of products and hygiene standards.

While all this was going on, cannabis remained illegal in the United States at the federal level. The federal law restricted anything sourced from marijuana, whether it was CBD dominant or THC dominant. Qualified marijuana users in Michigan, therefore, couldn’t take their 2.5 ounces just anywhere in the country but only to other states where marijuana was legal.

Farm Bill 2014

President Obama signed the Farm Bill – 2008. The bill legalized farming of industrial hemp and research on it and all its products. The said industrial hemp should contain 0.3% THC or less, and this made more marijuana products available for users. As a result of this legislation, Michigan put in place legal measures to enable research on industrial hemp in the state. It is, however, noteworthy that there are no separate laws for hemp products in Michigan; they are treated the same as regular cannabis products, and it is wise to be careful to follow any rules that apply.

Recreational Marijuana

Proposal 18 – 1 for the legalization of recreational marijuana was passed as a ballot measure on 6th November 2018. The law allows the state government to regulate and tax recreational marijuana, just like it does alcohol. This law provides for possession and cultivation as follows:

  • Cannabis can only be possessed and used by adults who are above 21 years of age. It further allows individuals of the right age to : –
  • Be in possession, use, and give away to other qualified adults a maximum of two and a half ounces of marijuana. The law also allows them to purchase the same quantity of weed.
  • A person who is 21 years and above is authorized to grow up to twelve marijuana plants within their residential place. The plants shouldn’t be visible from the outside of the compound on which they are grown without the use of additional equipment such as binoculars, and the compound where it is produced should be locked.
  • It is also legal for them to have up to 10 ounces as long as only 2.5 ounces of the weed are on them at any given time. The ten ounces are to be kept in the person’s primary residence under lock and key. The law also makes it legal for a person who is qualified even to process and sell marijuana. It further allows them to manufacture related paraphernalia. It is, however, illegal, except under an exclusive license for anyone to extract marijuana resin using butane or any other flammable solvent that has a flashpoint that is below 1000 Fahrenheit.
  • While marijuana for recreation is legal, it may not be used in public places unless it is otherwise allowed. Instances, where such usage may be allowed, is in a municipality that has designated locations for public use. Failure to observe this restriction attracts a fine of $100.
  • It is illegal to possess marijuana in preschool or a K-12 institution and inside the compound of a correctional facility.
  • Employers and landlords are within their rights to prohibit their employees from using marijuana in the workplace, and landlords can restrict certain rights provided in this law.
  • This law also gives some leeway to local governments to limit the number of marijuana-related businesses within their jurisdictions, and to put in place other related restrictions.

Other powers given to municipalities include: –

    • Set the regulations for signage for marijuana businesses
    • Set the time limits within which marijuana businesses should operate
    • Designate places where marijuana may be used in public by adults and restrict access by underage people to the designated areas
    • Municipalities are also empowered to determine the penalties imposed on those who disobey regulations. These can only be civil infractions since all matters of marijuana have been decriminalized, and the maximum fine allowed is $500.
    • Citizens and interest groups in a particular municipality are allowed to petition the city to reduce the number of marijuana businesses in the town. There is no limit to how low the petition can go, and they can even petition for a total ban.

LARA is responsible for formulating and promulgating rules about the growth, processing, sale, and general management of hemp business, among others.

Do You Need a Medical Card for CBD in Michigan?

Where to Buy CBD Oil in Michigan

Where to Buy CBD Oil in Michigan

Where to Buy CBD Oil in Michigan

Although Michigan has had a long history of authorization of medical marijuana, the value chain was not well defined until recently. The three amendments signed by the Governor into law on 20th September 2016 began the process of establishing outlets where CBD and other marijuana and hemp products could be sold.

It is no wonder that CBD outlets are not as advanced in Michigan as one would expect of a state that has had legal marijuana for more than ten years. There, however, has been an increase of outlets following the Farm Bill – 2008 and the amendments of 2016. We are going to list some outlets in the cities in which they are located in our next section. First, let’s look at the most significant source of CBD oil of all – the internet.

Buying Online

The vast majority of manufacturers and sellers of CBD have e-commerce platforms. The internet provides a wide variety of sellers and products. Some of the most reputable manufacturers of CBD are accessible to anybody in the country. Many of these outlets have efficient delivery systems that ship to all the states and jurisdictions of the United States.

There are many CBD brands that you can order online, but FAB CBD is one of them. You can order their products from the comfort of your home, and they can help you meet your various needs. The following are some of the product highlights.



  • Colorado Hemp
  • Commits to third-party testing
  • Potency 150mg - 1200mg

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While the highest quality products are available online, there is also a large number of snake oil salesmen whose products and services don’t come close to aligning with their claims. To avoid losing money and being frustrated, check for the following in a seller and their products.

  •  Membership of marijuana peer organizations: – The CBD and medical marijuana still don’t have well-defined regulators. To remedy this, reputable manufacturers and other industry players form peer review bodies through which they set and enforce standards for themselves. An excellent example of such an organization is the America Hemp Association. Buying from a vendor with such an association is safe because you know that someone holds them accountable.
  • Positive customer reviews: – customer ratings are vital for an excellent online shopping experience. Check to see whether other customers have had a good experience. If the seller has a large number of negative reviews, avoid them and go for another one.
  • Check the product: – There are certain aspects of the manufacture of CBD that might give a good indication of whether the product is safe and effective or not. These include:
    • Source of the hemp: – American organic hemp is mostly considered to be the source of the most reliable hemp products. The Scandinavian Peninsula also produces high-quality hemp since its soils are among the least polluted in the world.
    • Extraction method: – Whether the CBD is from marijuana or a hemp extract, the extraction method determines how likely it is to have toxins. Manufacturers usually disclose the extraction method they use for their CBD products. The Supercritical CO2 method is the best as it uses no solvents. The absence of solvents in the extraction process eliminates the possibility of them finding their way into the CBD oil, thus contaminating it.
    • Third-party testing: -Third-party testing is another measure manufacturers take to assure users of quality and safety. Ensure that a reputable Laboratory has tested the CBD oil you buy online. The Certificate of analysis for every product should then be made available for you to know exactly what is in the product you are buying.

Once you have checked through all the above tips and the company from which you buy checks all or most boxes, you can then go ahead and order online. They will deliver it to your doorstep in Michigan.

Let us now briefly look at some of the best brick and mortar stores that sell CBD in the different cities of Michigan.

CBD Shops in Michigan

Many players have now established shops in the states. The products sold in these shops are of varying quality and purity, and it is, therefore, vital to select the store from which you buy with care. We have listed some of the best shops we could find in the capital Detroit and in Ann Arbor, which pioneered the legalization of marijuana in Detroit. But before we get to the selected stores, let’s give you a list of the cities where CBD shops can be found.

Detroit, Ann Arbor, Waterford, Grand Rapids, Southfield, Warren, Sterling Heights, Dearborn, Lansing, Livonia, Clinton, Flint Canton, Westland, Shelby, Troy, Macomb, Kalamazoo, Farmington Hills.


We need to look at the CBD shops in Detroit, which is the state capital, as it is at the heartbeat of the state.

The Jazz Club Detroit

This shop is located on 16890 Telegraph Rd, Detroit, MI 48219. Customers have given the shop a perfect five-star rating. The shop has an impressive variety of products, which include the best CBD vapes, gummies, and other types of CBD formulations. They also sell gadgets such as vape pens and bongs. Established in 2015, the shop opens every day of the week from 10.00 AM to 8.00 PM. The staff has a thorough knowledge of the shop’s inventory and CBD and marijuana products in general.

King Seaweed 

Located on 3600E 8 Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48234, it offers edibles such as the best gummies, high-quality homeopathic CBD oil, and other CBD products. The shop also stocks a wide array of accessories. All products are carefully selected to meet the highest standards. Their staff is thoroughly informed about their products, and they are eager to help. As a result, this shop is ideal for all, including those who are new to CBD, as the staff makes sure they get the products that work best for them.

Ann Arbor 

Ann Arbor is a pioneer of marijuana in Michigan and the rest of the country. The following are some of the best CBD shops in the area.

Café Liv Wellness

This shop is located on 603 E William St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Many people consider it one of the best CBD shops in the state; it sells the best CBD in all its formulations, including the best CBD vapes, oils as well as the best CBD topicals. Café Liv is a walk-in store; thus, you don’t require an appointment to visit, and it is open from 11.00 AM to 9.00 PM from Monday to Saturday and from 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM on Sunday. The working hours give customers sufficient time to visit and place orders.

Shop attendants are so well informed and helpful that anyone can go into the shop and expect to leave with the best possible product for you regardless of your level of knowledge on matters CBD.

The Green Door 

The Green Door is located on 410 East Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. They stock a wide array of hemp products, including CBD for dogs and other pets, and concentrates. It was established in 2014, and the owner is involved in running it. Both the owner and the staff have comprehensive knowledge of CBD, its effects on the body, and also how different conditions respond to it. They are therefore equipped to help even the least knowledgeable of buyers get the product that works best for them. The Green Door opens from Monday through Sunday from 10.00 AM to 9.00 PM.

2020 News about CBD in Michigan

The year 2020 ushers in the season of legal recreational marijuana in Michigan. It is safe to expect that there will be more and more marijuana businesses in this more liberalized environment. The outlook for marijuana business may, however, be dampened by the COVID – 19 pandemic. The state of Michigan may also focus more on the regulation of marijuana and the streamlining of the value chain.

Final Thoughts

The state of Michigan has had a somewhat unnatural growth of the marijuana supply chain. Originally the chain had consumers who were also producers. This made it difficult for hemp and marijuana businesses to thrive because they would be operating outside of the law. There have been essential amendments along the way. However, the smooth is still not as smooth for marijuana and hemp businesses as would be expected in a state that has had marijuana as a legal substance for years. As quality brick and mortar shops continue to increase, buying marijuana and CBD hemp products online remains a good option. This is especially true for Michiganders, who live in cities where there are no good CBD shops.