Did you know that Michigan is one of the only states to have separate laws for the possession of and use of marijuana? Residents of The Great Lakes State should become familiar with paraphernalia laws so they can avoid fines and possible jail time.
Marijuana is legal in Michigan, but only for medical use. Patients are allowed to grow for themselves and in some cases may use caregivers, but there are no large collectives or retail cannabis stores. Any other possession, sale, or cultivation is illegal. Unusually, Michigan also explicitly prohibits use of the drug. Penalties are relatively harsh, and include a six-month driver’s license suspension on any conviction.
Possessing any amount marijuana is a misdemeanor in Michigan, punishable by up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. Possession in a park or other restricted area is either a misdemeanor or felony and carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and $2,000 in fines.
Use of cannabis is also prohibited and is treated as a misdemeanor. Users who test positive for the drug face a maximum term of 90 days in jail, plus a top $100 fine.
It is a misdemeanor to gift small amounts of marijuana if nothing else of value changes hands, and the top penalty is one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Sale of less than 5 kilograms is a felony and carries a top penalty of 4 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Sale of between 5 and 45 kilograms, meanwhile, comes with a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a fine of $500,000. If the weight is 45 kilograms or more, the top prison term is 15 years while the top fine is a massive $10 million.
It is a felony to grow marijuana plants for non-medical purposes in Michigan. Growing fewer than 20 plants is punishable by up to four years in prison and $20,000. Cultivating between 20 and 200 plants carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and $500,000 in fines. And cultivation of 200 or more plants is punished by up to 15 years in prison and $10 million in fines.
Hash and Concentrates
Cannabis concentrates, including hashish, are treated the same as marijuana flower under Michigan statutes. This means there are no extra penalties and the same weight limits apply.
Cannabis paraphernalia is also illegal in Michigan. Paraphernalia includes any items intended for use with the growing, harvesting, analysis, testing, enhancing, storage, or use of marijuana.
Sale and distribution. Sale of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and comes with a top penalty of 90 days in jail plus $5,000 in fines.
Sale to a minor. Penalties increase when delivering drug paraphernalia to a minor. A person aged 18 or over who distributes paraphernalia to a person less than 18 years of age is also guilty of a misdemeanor. However, penalties can be up to one year in jail, a fine of no more than $7,500, or both.
Roughly a dozen Michigan municipalities have decriminalized marijuana under local ordinance. In these cities, which include Ann Arbor and Lansing, simple possession is treated as a minor civil infraction and is punishable only by a small fine.
Michigan allows qualifying patients to use marijuana to treat a list of medical conditions.
Qualifying conditions – Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Cachexia/wasting syndrome, Cancer, Chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Nail-patella syndrome, Nausea, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Seizures, Severe and persistent muscle spasms
Patient possession limits – Two and a half ounces of usable marijuana
Home cultivation – Yes. No more than 12 marijuana plants are allowed in an enclosed, locked facility. Outdoor plants are allowed, and must not be “visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure” and must be “grown within a stationary structure that is enclosed on all sides except the base, by chain-link fencing, wooden slats, or a similar material that prevents access by the general public and that is anchored, attached or affixed to the ground, located on land that is owned, leased or rented” by the registered grower and restricted to that grower’s access.
State-licensed dispensaries – No
Caregivers – Yes. A primary caregiver is a person who is designated to assist a qualifying patient with the medicinal use of marijuana. Caregivers must be aged 21 or older and must never have been convicted of a drug-related felony, any felony within the last ten years, or any violent felony ever. Each patient is only permitted to have one caregiver, and caregivers are permitted to assist up to five patients at one time.
Reciprocity – Yes. Any other state, district, territory, commonwealth or insular possession of the U.S. must also offer reciprocity to have reciprocity in Michigan.
Contact information –
Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP)
Michigan Medical Marijuana Association
|Any amount||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 2,000|
|In a park||Misdemeanor or Felony||2 years||$ 2,000|
|Use of marijuana||Misdemeanor||90 days||$ 100|
|Sale without remuneration||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|Less than 5 kg||Felony||4 years||$ 20,000|
|5 – less than 45 kg||Felony||7 years||$ 500,000|
|45 kg or more||Felony||15 years||$ 10,000,000|
|Less than 20 plants||Felony||4 years||$ 20,000|
|20 – less than 200 plants||Felony||7 years||$ 500,000|
|200 plants or more||Felony||15 years||$ 10,000,000|
Hash & Concentrates
|Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.|
|Sale of paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||90 days||$ 5,000|
|In Ann Arbor||N/A||N/A||$ 100|
|Any conviction will result in a driver’s license suspension for 6 months.|