FAQs about Michigan Marijuana: What to know now that recreational consumption is legal

    FILE - In this April 12, 2018 file photo, nugs of marijuana await packaging at the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company near Shelton, Wash. Michigan clears a threshold Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, as the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than just medical purposes. In the Nov. 6 election, voters by a wide margin endorsed recreational use by adults who are at least 21. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

    Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 on Nov. 6, 2018, making recreational marijuana legal in the Great Lakes state starting Dec. 6. Still, there are a number of questions regarding what is legal, what is not and what's in between. Here's a list of frequently asked questions to aid the understanding of Marijuana in Michigan.

    When will it be legal to consume?

    Dec. 6, 2018

    When will Michiganders be able to purchase recreational marijuana?

    State lawmakers will need to draw up rules and regulations for the new industry and that will take time. Initial reports are looking at early 2020.

    How much recreational marijuana can I have?

    Similar to laws regarding alcohol, only adults 21 years old and older can possess marijuana. Outside of your home you may have 2.5 ounces in a concealed container. Inside your home, you can have 10 ounces. If you plan on growing it, then you are limited to no more than 12 plants.

    Where can I buy recreational marijuana?

    No where yet. Michigan legalized consumption of recreational marijuana, but the regulations and guidelines to commercially sell recreational marijuana haven’t been approved.

    Where can I consume recreational marijuana?

    Inside your home or a private residence that allows the use of marijuana. It is still illegal to consume recreational marijuana in public, even on your front porch.

    How about medical marijuana? Where is it available?

    Anyone with a medical marijuana card may purchase medical cannabis from any licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the state of Michigan. As far as the locations of medical marijuana shops, they cannot be located in a drug free zone (such as a drug free school zone.) However, a bus stop is not considered a drug free zone, because bus stops can be relocated.

    Where can medical marijuana be consumed?

    Just like recreational marijuana it cannot be consumed in public. Medical marijuana is allowed on private property and must not be visible to the public.

    Can medical marijuana be shared?

    No, medical cannabis is only to be used by the patient that it is prescribed. Sharing medical marijuana is still illegal and violators could face fines and penalties.

    Where in West Michigan can I buy medical marijuana?

    What West Michigan cities/townships have voted against allowing recreational dispensaries?

    Niles, Portage and Ross Township have already voted to ban commercial recreational marijuana businesses. Though they put a ban on it initially, the cities and/or townships could remove those bans at a later time when more regulations have been set by the state. Many cities have yet to vote on whether they will allow recreational cannabis dispensaries. Coldwater also joins the cities that are putting an initial ordinance on banning recreational marijuana dispensaries, but the long-term expectations are to allow recreational marijuana facilities when the state sets clear licensing regulations.

    How long should I wait to drive after consuming marijuana?

    Michigan hasn’t set specific regulations yet, but other states and countries that have legalized marijuana previously have already set regulations. Among them:

    • Colorado: Colorado law specifies that drivers with five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their whole blood can be prosecuted for driving under the influence (DUI). However, no matter the level of THC, law enforcement officers base arrests on observed impairment. Authorities say you cannot judge your own level of impairment, so any amount of consumption puts you at risk of driving impaired.
    • Washington: Similar to the 0.08 blood-alcohol limit, it is illegal to drive with 5 ng/ml of THC or more in your blood if you are 21 or older. If you are under 21, it is illegal to drive with any amount of THC in your blood. The blood test is performed at a police station or medical facility and requires a blood draw.
    • Canada: Cannabis can impair each person differently, the Canadian government says, so it offers no guidance on how much cannabis can be consumed before it is unsafe to drive or how long a driver should wait.

    How long does it take for the body to metabolize THC?

    Published research says it can take three hours for some people to drop below 5 ng/ml after using marijuana, but it can take longer depending on multiple variables such as gender and body size. Impairment can depend on method of consumption (i.e. smoked, inhaled, ingested); quantity; variety of cannabis and its THC levels. So some people might still be considered impaired with less than the 5 ng/ml of THC considered the limit in Washington. It is less risky to wait at least five hours before operating a vehicle. Most experts recommended wating even longer after consuming edible marijuana products as they can remain in your system much longer.

    Sources: Goverment of Canada website, Lake Effect Dispensary, Breedsville Provision Center, Colorado Department of Transportation, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis , Proposal 1

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