Last November, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 1, which became the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (“MRTMA”). Broadly speaking, MRTMA legalized the adult recreational use, possession, and home cultivation of marijuana for adults age 21 and up. MRTMA also created a commercial structure for the production, processing, and retail sale of marijuana. Since the November election, the question on everyone’s minds has been: “When can I buy marijuana from a retail store?”
Until recently, the prevailing sentiment was that it would be probably take until the middle of 2020 before retail recreational marijuana stores would be licensed. The language in MRTMA gave state officials in the Marijuana Regulatory Agency up to 12 months to come up with rules and regulations and an application process. Since the wheels of government often spin slowly, most expected that the Marijuana Regulatory Agency would use the entire 12 months allotted by the statute, which would have given the agency until December 6, 2019.
However, Marijuana Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo has indicated that his team has been working aggressively on recreational marijuana rules and application materials and that they expect to release drafts this month—June 2019. Director Brisbo has indicated that the Marijuana Regulatory Agency anticipates that it will start accepting applications for recreational marijuana business licenses this fall, which could mean that Michigan residents and visitors over the age of 21 may very well be able to purchase recreational marijuana from retail stores before the end of the year—nearly 6 months or so earlier than first expected.