It is legal to cultivate cannabis in Kalamazoo County. In 2008, medical cannabis usage and cultivation were legalized by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA). In 2016, the licensing of medical cannabis facilities was legalized by the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). The use of recreational cannabis by adults aged 21 and older was legalized in 2018 by the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). This also established the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) in charge of licensing cannabis businesses, including cannabis grower facilities.
Municipalities can choose not to allow adult-use cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction under the MRTMA. Municipalities are not permitted by law, however, to ban medicinal cannabis businesses, including growing facilities, from operating in their jurisdictions.
For instance, Chapter 20B of the City of Kalamazoo’s Code and Ordinance no. 19-206 of the City of Portage allows the establishment of licensed medical and recreational cannabis businesses, including medical and recreational cannabis grower businesses. On January 27, 2020, the Board of Trustees of the Township of Kalamazoo voted to allow both recreational and medical cannabis businesses, except for micro businesses and consumption establishments. On the other hand, the following municipalities in the county opted out of the MRTMA and recreational cannabis businesses as of January 28, 2022:
Comstock Charter Township
Cooper Charter Township
City of Galesburg
Oshtemo Charter Township
City of Parchment
Prairie Ronde Township
Texas Charter Township
The bearer of a Class A cannabis growing license is permitted to cultivate up to 100 marijuana plants. The bearer of a Class B cannabis growing license is permitted to cultivate up to 500 marijuana plants. The bearer of a Class C cannabis growing license is allowed to cultivate as many as 2,000 marijuana plants. The ability to cultivate, harvest, cure, and divide marijuana plants into their component parts is included in each of the three growing permits.
The holder of the cannabis microbusiness license is allowed to grow up to 150 marijuana plants. It also permits the bearer to manufacture marijuana products, package them, and offer them for sale to adults over the age of 21.
The following fees apply to each type of grower license:
|Application Fee||Initial Licensure Fee||Annual Renewal Fee|
|Class A Grower||$3,000||$1,200||$1,200|
|Class B Grower||$3,000||$6,000||$6,000|
|Class C Grower||$3,000||$24,000||$24,000|
Cannabis growing operations are prohibited in residential-only zones by the MRTMA. Unless a local regulation reduces the required distance, it mandates that all licensed cannabis growing operations be at least 1,000 feet away from an existent private or public school up to Grade 12. Licensed cannabis cultivators are required to conceal their operations from the public. The cultivation has to be done in a secured, confined space to prevent outside access.
In accordance with Section 333.27955 of the MRTMA, adults 21 years old and older may grow a maximum of 12 cannabis plants per dwelling, regardless of the number of adult occupants. This is an exception to the general prohibition against cultivating marijuana in residential areas. Homegrown cannabis can only be for personal use, medically or recreationally. This must be secured by a lock and key and concealed from the general public, as with other cannabis cultivation activities.
It is legal to manufacture cannabis in Kalamazoo County in accordance with the 2008 MMMA, the 2016 MMFLA, and the 2018 MRTMA. However, in municipalities that have opted out of the MRTMA, only the manufacturing of medical cannabis by licensed medical cannabis manufacturers is legal. In municipalities that have opted in, the manufacturing of both medical and recreational cannabis by businesses holding a marijuana processor license or marijuana microbusiness license from the CRA is allowed.
The fees that must be paid when applying for the marijuana processor license are as follows:
Application Fee: $3,000
Initial Licensure Fee: $24,000
Annual Renewal Fee: $24,000
The MRTMA prohibits cannabis manufacturing businesses in areas reserved for residential use. All licensed marijuana manufacturing facilities must be not less than 1,000 feet away from an established private or public school that serves students up to Grade 12 unless a municipal ordinance reduces this requirement. All licensed manufacturers of cannabis products must keep their operations hidden from the general public. Manufacturing shall take place in a locked, enclosed area to prevent unauthorized entry.
It is legal to sell cannabis by retail in Kalamazoo County by virtue of the MMMA in 2008, MMFLA in 2016, and MRTMA in 2018. In municipalities that have opted out of the MRTMA, though, only the selling of medical cannabis by licensed medical cannabis provisioning centers to qualified medical marijuana cardholders is allowed. In municipalities that have opted in, even the selling of recreational cannabis to adults aged 21 and older by licensed cannabis retailers is allowed.
A business must obtain a marijuana microbusiness or marijuana retailer license from the CRA in order to legally sell cannabis to consumers. A marijuana store license costs the following:
Application Fee: $3,000
Initial Licensure Fee: $15,000
Annual Renewal Fee: $15,000
The MRTMA permits cannabis provisioning centers operating under the MMFLA to simultaneously hold a dual license also as a marijuana retailer or a cannabis microbusiness, with both operations in one registered site.
Only adults over the age of 21 and holders of valid medical marijuana cards may purchase cannabis from licensed cannabis stores. Allowed for sale are all cannabis-infused products, including tinctures, foods, beverages, cannabis for smoking, and topicals. According to the MRTMA, authorized retailers must first ask for a government-issued identity card that includes the customer's photo and date of birth to verify the customer's age.
Only 15 grams of cannabis concentrate or 2.5 ounces of recreational marijuana can be bought in one transaction by adults who are 21 years old or older and patients or caregivers who have a medicinal marijuana card. The MRTMA has set this restriction on marijuana possession.
Every cannabis product that is to be sold needs to be contained in an opaque, child-safe package that can be resealed. Cannabis edibles cannot resemble traditional candy in any way and cannot be marketed to attract children.
The MRTMA prohibits cannabis retail businesses in areas designated for residential use only. All licensed cannabis retail establishments must be at least 1,000 feet away from an active public or private school that serves students in grades K–12, unless a municipality rule lowers the required distance. Every licensed cannabis merchant must conceal cannabis transactions from the public's view. Sales must be carried out in a safe, enclosed area to prevent theft and unlawful access.
It is legal to deliver both medical and recreational cannabis purchased by retail to consumers in Kalamazoo County. The MRTMA prohibits municipalities that have opted out of it from banning such deliveries.
According to the Michigan Administrative Code R 420.207 of the MRTMA, licensed cannabis retailers are permitted to deliver cannabis bought by a registered patient or caregiver who has a medical marijuana card, or by a person whose age is verified by a government-issued photographic identification card to be 21 and older.
The cannabis may be ordered online or by phone. Delivery must be done during the retailer's business hours and can only be brought to the patient's registered address, the adult consumer's home, or an authorized consumption location. The delivery staff of the dispensary must verify that the recipient is qualified to make the purchase. Payment may be made upon delivery.
For each delivery, the licensed cannabis retailer is required to keep a record of the following data:
the date of delivery
the time the package left the facility and arrived at the recipient
the name of the delivery staff
the quantity and strain of marijuana delivered
the marijuana tag number
the recipient's name and signature
the delivery vehicle's make and license number
Depending on the retail price, a maximum of $5,000 worth of cannabis goods, or 15 ounces of cannabis or cannabis products, or 60 grams of cannabis concentrate, may be transported at every delivery. Cannabis cannot be left in an unattended, unlocked vehicle by the delivery person. The licensed retailer must always be able to monitor the delivery vehicle that must be fitted with a GPS device.
Residents of any Michigan county, including Kalamazoo County, must apply to the CRA’s Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) to get a medical marijuana card. To qualify, they must be afflicted with any of the accepted debilitating medical conditions, as follows:
● Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
● Alzheimer’s Disease with agitation
● Hepatitis C
● Crohn’s Disease
● Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
● Nail Patella
● Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder
● Spinal Cord Injury
● Rheumatoid Arthritis
● Ulcerative Colitis
● Inflammatory Bowel Disease
● Parkinson’s Disease
● Tourette’s Disease
● Cerebral Palsy
● Chronic Pain
● Medical treatments or conditions that cause any of the following:
○ Chronic Severe Pain
○ Persistent Severe Muscle Spasms
○ Wasting Syndrome or Cachexia
○ Severe Nausea
A licensed medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine and surgery (DO) must certify the qualifying medical condition (DO).
Online application with the Michigan Department Of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is allowed only for patients who do not require a caregiver. They must follow the online instructions meant for patients-only. The certification must be uploaded to the portal by either the physician or the patient.
Minor patients must be registered through the postal system by their parent or legal guardian using the application forms package that is available for download. Certifications from two separate doctors are needed. The designated caregiver also needs to be a Michigan resident and be at least 21 years old.
A $40 fee is required for each application. The MMMP will either send a letter of denial or the medical marijuana card within 20 business days.
The MMFLA's 3% excise tax on cannabis provisioning facilities was eliminated on March 6, 2019. The MRTMA instead levies additional taxes, including a 10% excise tax on the price of all adult-use cannabis supplied by licensed cannabis merchants and cannabis microbusinesses. The excise tax may be figured into the final selling price by the seller. The state sales tax of 6% will also apply to this final selling price. The consumption, usage, and stockpiling of cannabis for adult use are also subject to a usage tax.
Up to 2022, these monies must be utilized for the MRTMA's administration, enforcement, and implementation. Additionally, $20 million must be set aside yearly for clinical research on the use of marijuana as a treatment for U.S. military veterans.
The remaining funds will be divided as follows:
15% will go to municipalities having cannabis merchants or microbusinesses, based on the number of establishments in each municipality
15% will go to counties will go to municipalities having cannabis merchants or microbusinesses, based on the number of establishments in each county
35% will go to the state transportation budget for the upkeep of roads and bridges
35% will go to the K–12 education school aid fund
A municipality that permits the operation of recreational marijuana enterprises may additionally charge each business a $5,000 annual fee, in accordance with the MRTMA. In Kalamazoo County, this refers to municipalities that have opted into the MRTMA.
In the fiscal year 2021, more than $1.1 billion worth of recreational cannabis was sold, as reported by the Michigan Department of Treasury. Based on the revenue sharing, Kalamazoo City received about $10.6 million, Portage City received about $5.3 million, Kalamazoo Charter Township received about $4.2 million, and Kalamazoo County received $1.07 million.
Medical cannabis was legalized in 2008 and recreational cannabis in 2018 in Kalamazoo. According to data reported by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2007, there were 50 arrests for drug abuse violations, of which 33 were for marijuana possession and two were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. In 2021, there were no arrests for drug abuse violations.
There were 155 DUI arrests in 2007. This dropped to eight in 2021.