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2019: Historic year for cannabis in Michigan

Pixabay / MGN
Pixabay / MGN(KALB)
Published: Dec. 24, 2019 at 1:02 PM EST
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(12/24/19) - 2019 was a historic year for Michigan and the cannabis industry.

And it wrapped up with several businesses selling recreational marijuana.

But it wasn't a quick road to licensing as cities and townships across Michigan also had to decide if they would allow sales.

The new year started just weeks after the state legalized recreational marijuana.

It was a change voters decided on.

And there were limits.

"People who want to put them in their flower boxes in the front of their house, that's probably not such a good idea," said Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel.

According to the law, adults 21 and older were allowed to have up to ten ounces of marijuana in their homes.

Michiganders could also grow up to 12 plants at a time.

Any amount over 2.5 ounces had to be stored in a locked container.

You could only use it at home and on private property.

And it was against the law to drive under the influence.

"Impaired drivers really do things that sober drivers do a lot of times. They speed, they will drift in their lane, they will disobey traffic lights," said Grand Blanc Township patrol officer Wes Evans.

Michigan employers were allowed to discipline or fire workers who tested positive for cannabis.

And anyone wanting to sell recreational marijuana had to be licensed through the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

Meanwhile, communities had to decide if they wanted to allow sales.

And there were a lot of opinions.

"This is a very huge topic. It is influencing everyone in the community. Everyone in the community is not on board with this," said Thetford Township resident Margaret Castle.

Cities and townships across Michigan asked people for feedback throughout the year.

Saginaw was among a long list of cities and townships opting out for the time being.

The city council said it did not have enough information from the state to write an ordinance.

And Saginaw was not alone.

A large number of Michigan cities and townships said they were waiting to see what the state hashed out for rules and regulations.

Finally, on December 1, recreational marijuana sales became legal in Michigan.

Only a few businesses had received their license.

The first week alone brought in $1.6 million.

It meant more than $250 million for the state in taxes.

Sales many were expected to watch closely in 2020.

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