On Nov. 6, 2018, Michigan became the 10th state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults (21 and older) with the passage of Proposal 1 — The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA).
Specifically MRTMA provides for adults to be able to possess, use, and cultivate marijuana and for taxed commercial sales by state licensed retailers. It also provides for the creation of a regulatory framework for the commercial provisions of the Act.
At the time it was passed, I wrote a column about the law and today I will provide a brief update.
The part of MRTMA allowing individual marijuana possession and cultivation has gone into effect. As to commercial growing, sales, and taxation, it’s still a work in progress but getting close to being finalized.
Toward this end, an entity called the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has been given the responsibility for drafting rules to implement the rest of the statute and then to administer it.
This is a mammoth undertaking and for the past year, the MRA has been very busy.
MRA now has its rules in place as to how the commercial aspects of MRTMA are to be implemented including licensing. MRA also has published an instruction booklet for those who wish to apply for licenses for what are called “Adult Use Establishments.”
There are licenses for growers, designated consumption establishments (a place to use marijuana), marijuana event organizers, marijuana micro businesses, processors, retailers, safety compliance facilities (warehouses), and secure transporters.
As one can see, these licenses cover a broad spectrum of commercial marijuana operations.
Applications for these licenses will be accepted starting Nov. 1.
Under MRTMA, local communities can opt out of allowing Adult Use Establishments, and as of Oct. 11, there are 994 Michigan governmental units which have done just that with 24 in Genesee County.
It is anticipated that actual retail sales will commence sometime in 2020, and there will be a 10-percent excise tax and a 6-percent sales tax imposed by using the state’s special computer program called the Marijuana Enforcement Tracking and Compliance System, which monitors inventory and sales.
There are many additional details, which I haven’t mentioned here. For more information, MRA has a website at mich.gov/lara.