Growing Marijuana in Michigan – MI Cannabis State Laws (2021)

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When talking about Michigan marijuana laws, the incident at Ann Arbor is sure to come up. Many believe that a marijuana-related arrest in this college town back in the ’70s prompted a change in its municipal possession laws. This in turn may have influenced marijuana law reforms in other municipalities and even the whole state. 

Today, recreational marijuana is legal in the Great Lake State. Since 2018, Michigans have been able to enjoy pot whether from the dispensary or their own plants. The state also has some of the most generous home growing laws of all weed states. However, this seems to be posing a problem for commercial sales as Michigan has reportedly seen declining sales in the last six months. It is suspected that this is because home growers may be taking sales away from dispensaries.

So, just how generous are Michigan’s home cultivation laws? Can it give pot lovers a good enough reason to move? Let’s find out.

This article was reviewed and updated for 2021.

Overview of Cannabis Growing Laws in Michigan

Colorado and California frequently get mentioned when talking about marijuana in the US but Michigan may very well have the best weed laws in the land. 

  • All Michigan residents aged 21 years and older may cultivate in their homes up to 12 plants for personal use.
  • The cultivation limit for medical marijuana is the same but a caregiver can grow for up to 5 patients.
  • Growers should tend their cannabis plants in a secured area away from public view.

This was last updated in June 2020. We will be updating this guide with new developments that may come out.

12 plants are a lot, even compared to other pioneering weed states. Also, the law does not specify how many of these plants can be mature at a given time. In addition to this, carrying up to 2.5 oz and/or keeping up to 10 oz at home carries no penalties. It gets even better…

Punishments for Violating Michigan Home Grow Laws

There’s really no good reason to exceed the 12 plant limit. However, the punishment for doing so is not much of a deterrent:

  • Growing more than 12 up to 24 plants for personal use is a civil infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and forfeiture of the marijuana, but no jail time. 
  • Second and third offenses get a maximum fine of $1000 and $2000, respectively, as well as forfeiture of the marijuana, but still no jail time.

Unbelievably enough, it’s possible to avoid jail time for growing 25 or more plants if it cannot be proven that the violation was was “habitual, willful and for a commercial purpose”. However, if the intent to distribute or sell can be proven, anything over 12 up to 20 plants will be considered a felony. This is punishable with imprisonment for a maximum of 4 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000.00. 

History of marijuana in Michigan

Andreas Faessler / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Michigan’s journey towards legalization may have started in the ’60s when activist John Sinclair got arrested for possessing two joints. Sinclair was then given an unreasonably harsh sentence of 10 years which received international attention. Thousands of people protested Sinclair’s sentence, including John Lennon, and this led the city to enact some of the most lenient possession laws in the US. 

While it took a few more decades for a number of cities to decriminalize marijuana prior to statewide legalization, the incident at Ann Arbor was definitely instrumental in pointing Michigan’s marijuana policies in the right direction.

It was in 2008 when the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative was approved allowed registered cardholders to grow up to 12 plants, which is twice the limit in other pro-cannabis states. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until 2016 that a bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries was signed.

The move towards legalization of recreational marijuana began in 2017 when proponents submitted 365,000 signatures for the 2018 ballot. On November 6, 2018, Proposal 1 got approved by a 56–44 margin, making Michigan the first Midwest state to allow the use of recreational marijuana.

Find the best cannabis seed banks online that ship to the US here.

Growing medical and recreational marijuana in Michigan

In a nutshell, all Michigan residents aged 21 and older may grow up to 12 cannabis plants at home. This limit is both for medical or recreational purposes. 

Why then would patients want to bother getting a medical marijuana card? Well for one, it allows minors with debilitating conditions to use marijuana. Patients and caregivers also get to enjoy higher possession and purchasing limits, but lower taxes under Michigan marijuana laws.   

How to apply as a patient or caregiver

Like most other weed states, a patient must have a debilitating medical condition to be eligible. After securing the necessary documents listed below, you may proceed to apply either online or by mailing your application. 

  • Completed application form for Registry Identification Card. (if submitting by mail)
  • A copy of the designated caregiver’s ID. This can be a state-issued driver’s license or personal ID card.
  • Copy of proof of Michigan residency. This can be a Michigan driver’s license, personal ID card, or signed voters registration. 
  • Physician certification form. 

Minor applications will require the following:

  • Completed minor application form. (if submitting by mail)
  • A copy of the parent or legal guardian’s Proof of Michigan Residency. 
  • A copy of proof of parentage or legal guardianship. This can be a birth certificate, court order, etc. 
  • Two physician certification forms.

The registration fee is only $40. You can pay via credit card, checks, or money orders. Patients who wish to add a caregiver may do so online or by mailing a completed Add or Change Caregiver Amendment form. Those who want to apply as a caregiver must not have a felony conviction involving illegal drugs, a violent felony, or any felony within the past ten years. 

Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Michigan

How does Michigan’s marijuana laws compare with home growing laws in other US states? Check out our post on Marijuana Growing Laws in the United States.

FAQs about growing marijuana in Michigan

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Michigan for recreational purposes?

Yes, the cultivation of recreational cannabis at home is legal in Michigan.

How much marijuana can I grow in Michigan for recreational purposes?

All Michigan residents aged 21 years and older may cultivate in their homes up to 12 plants for personal use.

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Michigan for medical purposes?

Yes, patients and caregivers are legally allowed to home grow medical cannabis in Michigan.

How much marijuana can I grow in Michigan for medical purposes?

The cultivation limit for both recreational and medical cannabis is the same: 12 plants per adult.

Where can I grow marijuana in Michigan?

On your property, in a locked space where your plants can be kept away from public view.

How old do I need to be to grow marijuana in Michigan?

Patients need to be at least 18 years old and caregivers at least 21 to be able to legally cultivate recreational and medical cannabis at home.

Conclusion

Michigan’s very lenient marijuana laws, particularly its 12 plant cultivation limit for recreational use may offer pot lovers in the US a compelling reason to move. But just because the state is lax ith weed doesn’t mean that cultivation and consumption are completely legal everywhere. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you can stay out of trouble:

  • Keep your plants locked and out of sight.  
  • Never sell the marijuana you harvest. 
  • Never consume in public or in a vehicle. 
  • When transporting your marijuana, always keep it in a sealed, child-proof container in the trunk of your car if possible.

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