Cannabis cultivation is legal in Ottawa County by law. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) of 2008 first legalized the use and cultivation of medical cannabis. This was expanded by the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) of 2016. The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) of 2018 legalized adult-use cannabis for persons aged 21 and older, and the establishment of cannabis grower facilities licensed by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA).
The MRTMA allows municipalities to opt out of having adult-use cannabis establishments within their areas. The law, however, forbids municipalities from disallowing medical cannabis establishments, including growing facilities, operating under the MMFLA.
As of January 28, 2022, only Crockery Township in Ottawa County opted in, allowing two licensed adult-use cannabis grower facilities, whether Class A, B, or C, but opting out of the cannabis microbusiness. All other 16 townships and six cities of Ottawa County opted out of adult-use cannabis businesses, including cannabis cultivation businesses.
The Class A cannabis growing license authorizes the holder to grow a maximum of 100 marijuana plants. The Class B cannabis growing license authorizes the holder to grow a maximum of 500 marijuana plants. The Class C cannabis growing license authorizes the holder to grow a maximum of 2,000 marijuana plants. All three growing licenses include the authority to propagate, harvest, cure, and separate marijuana plants by parts.
The cannabis microbusiness license authorizes the holder to grow a maximum of 150 marijuana plants. In addition, it authorizes the holder to process marijuana products, package these, and sell these by retail to consumers aged 21 or older.
The fees for each type of grower license are as follows:
|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|
The MRTMA forbids cannabis growing facilities in exclusively residential zones. It requires that all licensed cannabis growing facilities be 1,000 feet or more away from an existing public or private school up to Grade 12 unless a municipality ordinance shortens the specified distance. All licensed cannabis growers must keep cannabis cultivation away from public view. The cultivation must be done in an enclosed area that is locked to prevent unauthorized access.
The exception to growing cannabis in residential areas is specified in Section 333.27955 of the MRTMA where adults aged 21 and older are allowed to grow up to 12 cannabis plants per residence, regardless of the number of adult residents. This can only be used for personal medical or recreational purposes. As with all growing activities, this must be hidden from public view and under lock and key.
Cannabis manufacturing is legal in Ottawa County by virtue of the MMMA of 2008, MMFLA of 2016, and MRTMA of 2018. However, since the MRTMA allows municipalities to opt out of recreational cannabis manufacturing, as of January 28, 2022, only Crockery Township in Ottawa County is allowing a licensed adult-use cannabis processor facility and not more than one. According to the MRTMA, though, municipalities cannot forbid the operations of medical marijuana manufacturing facilities established under the MMFLA.
To legally manufacture cannabis, a company must acquire a marijuana processor license from the CRA. Following are the fees required:
Application Fee: $3,000
Initial Licensure Fee: $24,000
Annual Renewal Fee: $24,000
Cannabis manufacturing operations are prohibited in residential-only zones under the MRTMA. Unless a local ordinance shortens the required distance, it mandates that all licensed marijuana manufacturing facilities be at least 1,000 feet away from an existing private or public school up to Grade 12. All licensed cannabis manufacturers are required to conceal their operations from the public. A locked, enclosed space must be used for manufacturing in order to prevent illegal access.
Cannabis retail is legal in Ottawa County as mandated by the MMMA of 2008, MMFLA of 2016, and MRTMA of 2018. However, the MRTMA permits municipalities to opt out of recreational cannabis retail. As of January 28, 2022, only Crockery Township in Ottawa County is allowing licensed adult-use cannabis retail facilities, at a maximum of two. The MRTMA forbids municipalities from disallowing the operations of medical marijuana dispensaries established under the MMFLA, though.
To legally sell cannabis by retail, a company must acquire a marijuana microbusiness or marijuana retailer license from the CRA. The following fees are required for a marijuana retailer license:
Application Fee: $3,000
Initial Licensure Fee: $15,000
Annual Renewal Fee: $15,000
Cannabis provisioning centers under the MMFLA are allowed by the MRTMA to have dual licensing as a cannabis retailer or cannabis microbusiness operating in the same registered location.
Licensed cannabis retailers are allowed by the MRTMA to sell cannabis and all types of cannabis-infused products such as tinctures, edibles, beverages, and topicals, among others, only to adults aged 21 and older and to medical marijuana cardholders. The MRTMA requires licensed retailers to confirm the consumer’s age through a government-issued identification card that contains the buyer’s photograph and date of birth.
Adults aged 21 and older and medical marijuana cardholders can purchase only up to 2.5 ounces of recreational marijuana or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate at a time. This is also the limit imposed by the MRTMA on possessing and carrying marijuana.
All cannabis to be sold must be packaged in an opaque container that is resealable and child-resistant. Edible cannabis products must not in any way resemble regular candies and must not be made to look attractive to children.
Cannabis retail establishments are not allowed by the MRTMA in zones that are for residential use only. Unless a municipality regulation reduces the specified distance, it mandates that all licensed cannabis retail facilities be a minimum of 1,000 feet from an existent public or private school up to Grade 12. Every licensed cannabis retailer is required to shield cannabis transactions from the general public's sight. To avoid unauthorized access and theft, sales must be conducted in a secure, contained space.
Cannabis delivery is legal in Ottawa County. According to the MRTMA, even municipalities that have opted out of having adult-use cannabis businesses are forbidden from adopting ordinances that disallow or limit the transportation of cannabis through their areas.
The MRTMA’s Michigan Administrative Code R 420.207 states that licensed cannabis retailers are authorized to deliver during their business hours cannabis purchased by a registered patient or caregiver who is a medical marijuana cardholder or an individual confirmed through a government-issued photographic identification card to be aged 21 or older. The purchased cannabis can only be delivered to the registered address of the patient, the residence of the adult consumer, or a designated consumption establishment. The dispensary’s delivery employee must confirm that the recipient is the qualified purchaser. The order may be done by phone or online and payment may be accepted upon delivery.
The licensed cannabis retailer must keep a record of the following information for every delivery:
The delivery date
The time that the delivery left the facility and reached the recipient
The identity of the delivery employee
The amount of marijuana delivered
The marijuana strain delivered
The tag number of the marijuana delivered
The identity and signature of the recipient
The make and license number of the delivery vehicle
A maximum of 15 ounces of cannabis or cannabis products or 60 grams of cannabis concentrate may be transported at one time or a maximum of $5,000 worth of cannabis products based on the retail price. The delivery employee must not leave the cannabis in an unlocked and unattended vehicle. The delivery vehicle must be equipped with a GPS device and must be tracked by the licensed retailer at all times.
It is necessary to join the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) under the CRA to acquire a medical marijuana card. Applicants must be residents of Michigan and must have one of the following debilitating medical conditions to qualify:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Alzheimer’s Disease with agitation
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder
Spinal Cord Injury
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Medical conditions or treatments resulting in the following:
Chronic Severe Pain
Wasting Syndrome or Cachexia
Persistent Severe Muscle Spasms
The qualifying medical condition must be certified by a state-licensed Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (DO).
Patients who are minors must be registered by mail by their parent or guardian using the downloadable application forms packet. Two certifications are required from different physicians. The designated caregiver must also be a resident of Michigan and must be aged 21 or older.
Both applications require a $40 fee. Within 20 business days, the MMMP will either issue a denial letter or the medical marijuana card.
For further information, the public may visit the MMFL website or email the Michigan Department Of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA) at LARA-MedicalMarijuana@michigan.gov. They may also call the MMMP at 517-284-6400 or the CRA at 517-284-8599.
The 3% excise tax imposed by the MMFLA on cannabis provisioning centers was repealed on March 6, 2019. Instead, the MRTMA imposes other taxes such as a 10% excise tax on the sales price of all adult-use cannabis sold by licensed cannabis retailers and cannabis microbusinesses. The seller is allowed to include the excise tax in the final selling price. This final selling price is additionally subject to the 6& state sales tax. In addition, there is a use tax for the consumption, use, and storage of adult-use cannabis.
These funds shall be used up to 2022 for the enforcement, administration, and implementation of the MRTMA and to allot $20 million a year on clinical research for marijuana treatment for U.S. armed services veterans. The balance shall be distributed to the following:
15% to municipalities with cannabis retailers or microbusinesses, divided by the number of businesses in each municipality
15% to counties with cannabis retailers or microbusinesses, divided by the number of businesses in each county
35% to the K-12 education school aid fund
35% to the state transportation fund for the maintenance and repair of roads and bridges
According to the MRTMA, a municipality that allows the establishment of marijuana businesses may also charge each company an annual fee of $5,000.
However, in Ottawa County, only Crockery Township opted to allow licensed adult-use cannabis businesses, and only for two grower facilities, one processor facility, and two retail facilities. Hence, Ottawa County will benefit from cannabis revenue only based on cannabis businesses in Crockery Township.
The Michigan Department of Treasury reported that in fiscal year 2021, total sales of adult-use cannabis sales exceeded $1.1 billion. From this, revenue shared to Crockery Township was $112,906.88 and to Ottawa County was $112,906.88.
Medical cannabis was first legalized in Ottawa County in 2008 and adult-use cannabis was legalized in 2018.
According to data from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2007, there were 270 arrests for drug abuse violations, of which 218 were for marijuana possession and eight were for marijuana manufacturing or sales.
In 2009, a year after the legalization of medical marijuana, arrests for drug abuse violations decreased to 242, of which 200 were for marijuana possession and six were for marijuana manufacturing or sales.
In 2019, a year after the legalization of adult-use cannabis, arrests for drug abuse violations decreased further to 51, of which 10 were for marijuana possession and one was for marijuana manufacturing or sales.
There were 505 DUI arrests in 2007. This increased to 568 in 2009, a year after the legalization of medical marijuana, but decreased to 456 in 2019, a year after the legalization of adult-use cannabis.