It has been one of the most frequently asked questions since Proposal 1 passed: “How much marijuana can I have now?” The answer depends on your individual status, the type of product/amount in your possession, and your location.
Now that the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis in Michigan has been legalized for adults over the age of 21, it will be important for everyone to keep in mind the limitations and restrictions contained in the new law—the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (“MRTMA”)—to avoid the risk of receiving a civil infraction (a $500–$2,000 fine), forfeiture of the marijuana, and even misdemeanor charges in more extreme cases. Since the MRTMA runs parallel with 2 other laws—the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”) and Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”)—there are important distinctions that everyone should be aware of as Michigan begins its transition as the 10th state to allow for adult-use consumption.
Minors (under 21 years old)
If you are under the age of 21, you cannot possess any amount of cannabis. Section 4(c) of the MRTMA explicitly states that the new law does not authorize “any person under the age of 21 to possess, consume, purchase or otherwise obtain, cultivate, process, transport, or sell marihuana.”
However, there is one important exception. If you are a minor who is a patient under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”), then you are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces under the supervision of a caregiver parent/legal guardian.
Adults (over 21 years old)
If you are over the age of 21, then you are allowed to possess and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. You can also possess and store up to 10 ounces of marijuana in total when you are home, but any excess amount over 2.5 ounces must be kept locked in a container or restricted area.
There are several other exceptions to keep in mind:
- You can only have up to a total of 15 grams of marijuana concentrates at any given time.
- Possession of any amount of marijuana on the grounds of a public or private K-12 school, school bus, or correctional facility is prohibited.
The new law also allows for the cultivation of up to 12 marijuana plants per residence. It is important to note that this is the maximum number of plants allowed in the home at any given time. It does not increase based on the number of people who may live with you.
Other than the maximum plant count of 12 per household, it is important to keep in mind that:
- The plants cannot be visible to the public and must be inside an enclosed and locked area.
- Butane extraction (and other similar methods) are prohibited in residential locations.
- The landowner, property manager/landlord, and even individual(s) who occupy the residence can prohibit the use and cultivation. However, this only power only applies to smoking.
- Tenants cannot be prohibited from possessing and consuming marijuana on the property by other means (e.g., vaping or edibles).
Residential Possession Amount Stacking
In addition to the maximum amount of 10 ounces allowed in the home and cultivation of up to 12 plants per residence, Section 5 of the MRTMA also allows for possession of “any marihuana produced by marihuana plants cultivated on the premises.” This broad language essentially covers any amount of marijuana that you are able to produce from the 12 plants you are allowed to have at home. It remains to be seen how this language will be interpreted by Michigan court’s and law enforcement. Keep in mind that any amount over 2.5 ounces must be kept secure.
Adults (over 21 years old) + Caregiver
If you are a caregiver, then you can continue cultivating up to 12 plants per connected patient for up to 5 patients under the MMMA. In addition to the maximum of 72 plants under the caregiver-patient system, the new law would allow for an additional 12 plants to be grown per residence for adult use. In other words, a caregiver could potentially have up to 84 plants if they are a patient and connected to 5 other patients. The new law requires that the plants are not visible to the public and must be kept in a restricted access area. Additionally, it would be necessary to keep the adult-use plants separate from the medical plants to ensure compliance with the MMMA’s “enclosed, locked facility” requirements imposed upon caregivers.
In terms of possession limits, a caregiver may continue to have 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana as defined under the MMMA per connected patient. If a caregiver is a patient and also has the maximum amount of connected patients allowed (5), this would equal 15 ounces of usable marijuana. On the adult-use side, a caregiver would also be allowed to possess and transfer 2.5 ounces of adult-use cannabis, possess and store up to 10 ounces at home, as well as any amount produced from the 12 adult-use cannabis plants allowed per residence.
It’s Important to Know What Applies to You
There are now three (3) laws related to cannabis in Michigan: the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Now that cannabis is legalized for adultuse consumption and cultivation in Michigan, it is extremely important to know and follow all of the applicable laws and rules. As you can see, there are several different situations that could apply to you which would change the amount of cannabis you are allowed to possess and grow. And there will likely continue to be additional requirements and guidelines for adult-use possession and cultivation in the future. It is important to stay up-to-date on any new developments as we start the transition into the adult-use market to avoid any fines and other charges that could arise based on violations of the new law.
*DISCLAIMER – The MRTMA is a new law and has yet to be interpreted by the courts or supplemented with rules, regulations, and guidance from the State and LARA. Additionally, as of late November 2018, the Michigan Legislature has proposed changes to the MRTMA which would significantly alter the interpretation in this article. The information contained in this article regarding the possession and cultivation amounts are based solely on the author’s interpretation of the plain language of the law and are not to be construed as legal advice.