Recreational marijuana sales begin Dec. 1 in Michigan

Economists are determining how much money recreational marijuana could generate or cost the state if it were to be approved by voters. (Pixabay)
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LANSING (WJRT) (11/13/2019) - Michigan marijuana businesses now have a date when legal sales of recreational marijuana will start.

According to a notice published Wednesday, recreational marijuana retailers can begin selling their products on Dec. 1.

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that current medical marijuana businesses can transfer up to half of their inventory to the recreational market.

However, those businesses must obtain a recreational license from the state. Michigan regulators started accepting and approving those licenses earlier this month.

Michigan voters approved legalizing the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana in November 2018. Residents age 21 and older could legally grow up to 12 plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces in public or 10 ounces at home nearly a year ago on Dec. 6.

Any amount of marijuana over 2.5 ounces must be stored in a locked container.

Use of recreational marijuana is restricted to inside a private dwelling -- not inside a private vehicle or any public place. Plants grown at home must be secure and cannot be visible to the public.

Laws against impaired driving similar to Michigan's drunken driving laws still apply to marijuana use. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

Private sale of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use also have been legal for nearly a year. However, the voter-approved law gave the state one year to develop a licensing and enforcement program for the commercial production and sale of marijuana.

The law also allows local communities to decide whether they want to allow marijuana businesses within their boundaries. Mid-Michigan communities have decided for and against marijuana businesses.

Widespread commercial sales of marijuana aren't likely until March or April while licensed suppliers grow and harvest their first crop, according to the Associated Press.

Commercial marijuana sales in Michigan are subject to an additional 10% tax. That is expected to raise about $130 million a year for schools, roads and local governments.

Marijuana consumption for medicinal or recreational use remains illegal under federal law. Michigan's two top federal prosecutors issued a joint statement last fall saying nobody using or possessing marijuana in the state should expect to be immune from charges.

Employers also are allowed to prohibit marijuana use among employees. Companies such as General Motors have said employees using marijuana could face disciplinary action.