A bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, at the end of November would prohibit homegrown marijuana.
Growers also should take note that it doesn’t matter if the plant is flowering or not, germinating or just a cutting, it can still be considered a plant, according to a Michigan Court of Appeals medical marijuana case in 2016.
Most gardening or grow stores will have all the supplies you need to grow cannabis, except the cannabis itself. You’ll need a grow tent or locked room. How much space you’ll need depends on how many plants you have.You can grow one or two plants in a 5-gallon bucket in a 4-foot-by-4-foot area, Dupree said. The full 12 plants allowed by the law would need at least 10 feet by 10 feet.
2. You won’t be able to grow legally if Arlan Meekhof gets his way.
Seeds are available online to purchase, but internet purchases fall under interstate commerce, which is regulated by federal law, and marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.
“I don’t know what they are going to say about vaping because the statute itself I don’t believe defines vaping,” Montague said . “It does not define consuming and it does not define smoking, so one of the issues that most likely will be litigated in the near future is going to be where vaping falls within the context of this act.”
Public consumption of marijuana will remain illegal, but the living room of your house is fine (as long as you own the place or your landlord is OK with it).
What about vaping?
Your landlord will be able to prevent you from growing and smoking marijuana. But they won’t be able to stop you from eating it.
The voter-initiated statute specifies that plants can be grown as long as they are not visible “from a public place without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids or outside of an enclosed area equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the area.”
4. Can your landlord stop you from growing or smoking marijuana?
The law says that, while a property owner can prohibit or regulate “the consumption, cultivation, distribution, processing, sale, or display of marijuana and marijuana accessories,” a lease agreement can’t prohibit a tenant from keeping up to 10 ounces at home or “consuming marijuana by means other than smoking.”
“There’s so much to it,” said Charles Dupree, the owner of Great Lakes Grow Store at 119 S. Union St. in Battle Creek. “People think you can just put a seed in and just grow it. You can technically, but, in order to get a good product, it’s kind of like the garden outside. The love you put in is the love you get out.”
Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan right now, but there won’t be a legal way to buy it until 2020 or so.
“If it says consuming, I think consuming includes smoking, smoking does not include consuming,” said attorney Sarissa Montague, of the Kalamazoo firm Levine & Levine.
1. How many plants can you legally own or grow?
Republican lawmakers are trying to put through a new bill that will prevent people from growing their own marijuana.
“There’s a lot more to it than people think,” Dupree said.
There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation going around, so here’s a handy list of basics on cultivating your own recreational cannabis.
It takes at least four months to get a harvestable cannabis plant from a seed, with two months in the flowering stage. The plants need light for 18 to 24 hours a day until you’re ready for them to start producing buds, at which point they’ll need 12 hours of light. The plants need high humidity and should be kept at roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also prohibits you from smoking marijuana within the passenger area of a vehicle on a public road.
In this article, we will walk you through the steps you need to take in order to start a legal Michigan marijuana business. As a Michigan cannabis business attorney, we work with both licensed “plant touching” companies as well as cannabis companies that do not require an MMFLA or MRTMA license.
The very first decision you will have to make is what exactly you want to do in the industry. Do you want to start a commercial cultivation facility? Do you want to open a dispensary? Or do you want to simply take your existing business or skill set and pivot it to helping other cannabis companies? Here, we will divide up industry opportunities into three different tracks—branding and licensing, ancillary businesses, and plant-touching.
For cannabis entrepreneurs, that usually means they either need to self-fund their business, bring on investors or obtain financing from a private, non-bank institutional lender. Raising capital from investors is not an easy task, even with the outsized returns some opportunities in the industry can offer. For this reason, many new cannabis businesses prefer to start small and then gradually scale up by reinvesting their profits back in the business. This also has the advantage of making it easier to raise capital, since growing companies with a good operational history are much more attractive to investors than pie-in-the-sky start-ups.
Step 1 : Choose Your Niche.
Not many people know that you can sell your own branded marijuana and marijuana products without ever having an MMFLA or MRTMA license. Many of the brands that you see when walking into a Michigan dispensary are not actually licensed companies. Instead, they have licensing / white labeling agreements with a Michigan licensed cannabis processor to manufacture their products. You may be surprised to learn that most of the brands you see on a dispensary’s shelf are manufactured in one of a handful of processing facilities throughout Michigan.
Depending on your own skill set, knowledge and experience, you may also need to identify additional partners, employees, or cannabis business consultants. to help fill out your team. For cultivation projects, this usually means selecting the master grower; for safety testing, the right person to run the lab; and so on.
While non-plant touching businesses generally have it easy when it comes to taxes, plant-touching businesses need to familiarize themselves with what’s commonly referred to as “280E.” 280E is a section of the federal tax code that prevents plant-touching cannabis businesses from taking most of your standard business deductions. Taking into account the effects of 280E when structuring your business is highly recommended and can be the difference between turning a profit or suffering a loss.
Before forming your business, you want to first put together a solid cannabis business plan with a start-up budget and pro forma numbers. Even if you are self-funding and don’t need investors or financing, it is still a good idea to put your business plan to paper and fully flesh out your business model.
Nonetheless, until the cannabis becomes legalized or Congress passes of the Safe Banking Act, banking in the cannabis space will be limited, and expensive. Michigan cannabis banks and credit unions will generally charge a hefty due diligence fee, thousands of dollars in monthly maintenance fees, and sometimes an additional fee based off the percentage of total deposits. It is therefore a good idea to shop around and find the bank or credit union that is best for your situation. If you have a high volume business, you may be better off with a bank that charges a higher monthly maintenance fee but no deposit fees, or vice versa.
You can also purchase property with a municipal cannabis license or existing cannabis business, or obtain your own license. Generally, properties that already have licenses attached garner a premium compared to properties that are merely eligible for licensing, and both garner a substantial premium when compared to properties that are not eligible for cannabis licensure. For properties that do not already come with a license, you should be able to “tie up” the property with a purchase agreement or contingent lease while you obtain your municipal license. Otherwise, you could end up paying a premium for a property that you cannot use for your business.
Branding and Licensing.
There are many different routes you can take to acquire a municipally licensed cannabis property. You can purchase the property or lease it. You can also purchase the property on a land contract, which is generally referred to in the industry as “terms.” Unlike other industries, land contracts are wildly popular in the cannabis industry, given the lack of banking and lending options for cannabis businesses.
“Plant-touching” is industry lingo that refers to a business that, you guessed it, actually touches the marijuana plant. In Michigan, that refers to cannabis cultivation, dispensaries, processors , safety testing labs, secure transporters, and microbusinesses. We will also include cannabis lounges and cannabis events in this category due to the fact that Michigan requires them to obtain an MRTMA license.
So you’ve decided you want to enter the Michigan cannabis industry. Maybe it’s because its one of the state’s fastest growing industries, or maybe you think it would be a fun and exciting industry to become a part of. Where do you start?
Private lending is also available to cannabis businesses, just be prepared for incredibly high interest rates. Even real estate backed loans, which is the most common type of lending in Michigan’s cannabis industry, can easily have interest rates between 10-15%. Equipment loans for start-ups are particularly hard to come by, as are operating loans. Hopefully this will change, and loan programs like the SBA will start allowing loans to cannabis businesses, but until that time, obtaining financing for your business is no easy task.
Banking and Insurance.
While there is lots of opportunity in cultivation, processing, dispensaries and other “plant touching” businesses, there is also opportunity in the ancillary business sector. This was the path that I initially chose. I had worked in business, real estate and healthcare law prior to 2017, and saw the opportunity to pivot my law firm to servicing cannabis companies. In truth, it wasn’t all that much of a change, I just changed the type of clients I was going after but was still doing pretty much the same work. Similarly, you may have an existing skill, service or business that could be pivoted to the cannabis industry. Maybe you are an accountant, insurance agent, real estate broker, general contractor, or have some other professional skill that can be easily translated into the industry. If so, then your easiest path to having a legal marijuana business is to simply pivot your existing business to service the cannabis industry.
While potentially the most lucrative, plant-touching cannabis businesses are expensive to start-up and require you to go through an extensive and time-consuming licensing process, as outlined below as well as here.
One of the most common mistakes in the Michigan cannabis industry is the failure of business owners to properly budget their projects. A dirty little secret of commercial real estate is that you can pretty expect your project to go over-budget. You need to account for this fact from the beginning, especially since cannabis projects, particularly cultivation facilities, are notorious for going well over budget. We commonly recommend adding a 15% contingency to any construction budget to account for expected cost overruns, though sometimes even this number isn’t enough.
Even if you don’t have a directly translatable professional skill, there are other ways to enter the cannabis ancillary services market. There are thousands of opportunities to break into the Michigan cannabis industry via ancillary services and products. You could develop an app such as WeedMaps, you could manufacture smoking accessories such as dab rigs, or provide some other product or service. Similar to the licensing and branding path, one of the big advantages of ancillary services is that you don’t need to go through the expensive and time-consuming task of obtaining a cannabis license.
It’s a common misconception that the cannabis industry is an all cash business. Every single cannabis company I represent, including both plant-touching and non-plant touching, has a bank account and access to most insurance products. There are now at least 5 Michigan banks and credit unions that will openly bank licensed, plant-touching cannabis businesses. Even more will bank ancillary cannabis companies, though ancillary businesses still have to be careful. Similar to banking, insurance is also widely available for cannabis businesses. As the registered agent on dozens of prequalified or licensed cannabis businesses, my mailbox is absolutely inundated with insurance agents offering insurance to cannabis businesses.
As governing state laws spell marihuana with an “h,” BMR legal communication and references to statutes in relation to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act or the Michigan Medical Facilities Licensing Act or the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act – and the corresponding administrative rules will use an “h” in the spelling of Marihuana. In non-formal communication, “j” will generally be used.
Michigan is the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. Here are the other states where recreational marijuana is legal and when it was made legal:
According to the new law, individuals are not allowed to grow marijuana:
Legal adults in Michigan are allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants inside their residence. That’s according to the proposal language that was approved.
According to the new Michigan law, a person who is at least 21 years old is allowed no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana within his or her place of residence unless any excess marijuana is stored in a container or area equipped with locks “or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the contents of the container or area.”
For more coverage of marijuana in Michigan, go here .
What do you have questions about in Metro Detroit or Michigan that you’d like us to investigate?
The spelling of marijuana has a long history in the United States. Michigan’s history primarily starts from the spelling that was chosen for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Michigan adopted its statutory definition of marijuana in the Public Health Code, utilizing the then current federal spelling, marihuana.
Meanwhile, medical marijuana caregivers in Michigan are still allowed up to five patients registered to him or her and can grow up to 12 plants for each of them. If the caregiver is also a patient and has five patients, he or she can grow up to 72 marijuana plants. Medical marijuana growers will emphasize the importance of having enough plants to serve a patient, or multiple patients, adequately with the correct strains at the correct times. This is where it can get complicated. Moreover, if you ever hear a grower use the term “cloning,” then you know they’ve been through the process extensively.
In Alaska, households are allowed to grow 12 plants if at least two adults (21 and older) live in the household. In Michigan, any household with at least one adult 21 and older is allowed to grow 12 plants.
That’s how the law reads.
That means you’re going to want to be growing indoors, or outside in a shed or grow house. Keep in mind this is Michigan — the weather changes rapidly.
If you’re looking to grow some plants at your house for you, then you’re looking for the Class A license.
Of course, while growing and using is legal, law enforcement officials are reminding residents that marijuana will be treated like alcohol: You can’t drive while under the influence, and using it openly in public can get you arrested.
An act of the Michigan Legislature would be required in order to change the spelling of marijuana in the Michigan statutes, such as the Public Health Code or the newer marijuana laws.
The state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) needs to issue the appropriate licenses for anyone who wants to start a recreational marijuana business.
Growing marijuana in Michigan compared to other states.
That makes Michigan’s household marijuana cultivation law the least strict out of all of the states.
Michigan is one of only two states, the other being Alaska, where households are allowed to grow 12 marijuana plants. Most of those states listed above allow only six plants per household.
DETROIT – As of Dec. 6, 2018 it is legal to grow your own marijuana in the state of Michigan.
Here are the license types that are offered:
LARA offers the following explanation for why you may see the department refer to marijuana as “marihuana,” substituting the “j” for an “h”:
Welcome to 4YI , the place where you can ask us those questions. We will work to track down the answer(s).