Licensed cannabis cultivation in St. Clair County for medical and adult use is legal by virtue of the State of Michigan’s 2008 Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), the 2016 Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), and the 2018 Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). While no municipality is allowed to ban the presence of licensed medical cannabis facilities, municipalities are allowed by the MRTMA to opt out of allowing the establishment of even licensed adult-use cannabis businesses in their areas.
In St. Clair County, most municipalities chose to opt out of having adult-use cannabis businesses in their territories. Only three out of eight cities opted in. These are the cities of Port Huron, Memphis, and Richmond. Out of two villages, only Emmett opted in. Out of 19 civil townships, only Cottrellville opted in. All four charter townships opted out.
The regulatory body in the State of Michigan for both medical and adult-use cannabis is the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA). All types of cannabis businesses, including cultivation businesses are required to apply for a cannabis facility license either for medical or adult use from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and are subject to the marijuana licensing rules.
Any medical and adult-use cannabis facility is required by the MMMA and the MRTMA to be within a zoning district approved by the municipality. There must be a distance of over 1,000 feet between an adult-use cannabis facility and a school up to Grade 12.
All types of cannabis facility applications require the following as of May 2023:
a non-refundable fee of $3,000
$100,000 documented to be reserved for bodily injury liability related to the cannabis business
$100,000 documented to be reserved for premises liability related to the cannabis business (Required from medical cannabis businesses only )
The types of medical cannabis cultivation licenses are:
Class A medical cannabis grower license, allowed to grow up to 500 mature cannabis plants
Class B medical cannabis grower license, allowed to grow up to 1,000 mature cannabis plants
Class C medical cannabis grower license, allowed to grow up to 1,500 mature cannabis plants
The types of adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses are:
Class A adult-use cannabis grower license, allowed to grow up to 100 mature cannabis plants
Class B adult-use cannabis grower license, allowed to grow up to 500 mature cannabis plants
Class C adult-use cannabis grower license, allowed to grow up to 2,000 mature cannabis plants
The types of adult-use cannabis microbusiness licenses allowed to cultivate cannabis crops, manufacture adult-use cannabis products, and sell by retail adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products to persons aged 21 and above are:
Adult-use cannabis microbusiness license, allowed to grow up to 150 mature cannabis plants
Class A adult-use cannabis microbusiness license, allowed to grow up to 300 mature cannabis plants
The following are their annual license fees:
Class A medical and adult-use cannabis grower license: $1,200
Class B medical and adult-use cannabis grower license: $6,000
Class C medical and adult-use cannabis grower license: $24,000
Cannabis adult-use microbusiness license: $8,300
Class A cannabis adult-use microbusiness license: $18,600
Cultivation indoors or outdoors is allowed for both medical and adult-use cannabis, provided that the premises are enclosed by an unbreachable fence and locked gate to keep intruders out and shield all cannabis from public sight.
Section 333.27955 of the MRTMA states that in municipalities that have opted into the Act, persons aged 21 and above are permitted to cultivate only for medical or adult use at home a maximum of 12 cannabis plants. The same limit applies to a household no matter how many qualified residents live in it. The area for home cultivation of cannabis must also be locked against unauthorized entry and not visible to the public.
Licensed medical cannabis product manufacturing is legal in all of St. Clair County as mandated by the State of Michigan’s MMMA, MMFLA, and MRTMA, but licensed adult-use cannabis product manufacturing is only legal in the municipalities that allow it.
Cannabis product manufacturing businesses are required to apply for a medical processor license, an adult-use processor license, an adult-use microbusiness license, or a Class A adult-use microbusiness license from the LARA. As of May 2023, the application fees are $3,000 each and the annual processor license is $24,000. The same requirements for location, security measures, and public visibility as those for licensed cannabis cultivators apply.
The licensed retail selling of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products only to medical cannabis cardholders is legal in the entirety of St. Clair County as stipulated by the MMMA, MMFLA, and MRTMA of the State of Michigan, but the licensed retail selling of adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products to persons aged 21 and above is legal only in municipalities that permit it.
For a company to sell medical cannabis and medical cannabis products, a LARA provisioning center license is required. For a company to sell adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products, a company is required to get a LARA adult-use marijuana retailer license, adult-use microbusiness license, or Class A adult-use microbusiness license.
As of May 2023, all licenses are subject to a $3,000 application fee and the annual retailer license fee is $15,000. Both licensed medical and adult-use cannabis retailers must observe the same rules regarding site location, visibility to the public, and security as licensed medical and adult-use cannabis cultivators and manufacturers.
The licensed medical cannabis retailer must validate each purchaser’s medical cannabis card on the online Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) registry. The licensed adult-use cannabis retailer must validate each purchaser’s identity and age by asking for a current government-issued photo ID card. Every sale must be logged on the online registry.
A medical cannabis cardholder or a person aged 21 and above is only allowed by the MMMA and the MRTMA to purchase from a licensed retailer a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis or its equivalent at every transaction. One ounce of cannabis is defined by Section 333.26424 of the MMMA as equivalent to one of the following:
36 fluid ounces of a cannabis product
16 ounces of a solid cannabis product
7 grams of a gaseous cannabis product
All forms of medical and adult-use cannabis are allowed for sale to qualified purchasers by licensed medical and adult-use cannabis retailers, including among others, oil, concentrate, tinctures, topical preparations, edible goods, and beverages. All types of cannabis and cannabis products must be in packages that are sealed, opaque, and unattractive to children. Packages containing several servings are required to be resealable.
The delivery of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products by licensed retailers to medical cannabis cardholders is legal in the whole area of St. Clair County in compliance with the MMMA, MMFLA, and MRTMA in the State of Michigan, but it is only legal to deliver adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products to medical cannabis cardholders in municipalities that allow it.
Medical cannabis or medical cannabis products may only be delivered by licensed medical cannabis retailers to the medical cannabis cardholder’s registered home address. On the other hand, adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products may be delivered by licensed adult-use cannabis retailers to the home of a person aged 21 or older, or to a licensed consumption facility indicated by the qualified purchaser.
The medical cannabis card of patients or caregivers or the valid government-issued photo ID card of persons aged 21 and older must be checked by the licensed retailer upon ordering and before the cannabis item is handed over upon delivery. All deliveries must be logged on the registry online.
Deliveries can be made only during the licensed retailer’s business hours using a locked GPS-equipped vehicle that is tracked throughout the trip. The maximum amount of cannabis that may be carried in every delivery is as follows:
$5,000 worth of cannabis based on the selling price
15 ounces of cannabis
60 grams of cannabis concentrate
15 ounces of cannabis products
Residents of St. Clair County may apply for an MMMP medical marijuana card from the LARA if they have been diagnosed by a state-licensed medical or osteopathic doctor with any of these qualifying medical conditions:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Spinal Cord Injury
Alzheimer’s Disease with agitation
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Conditions or their treatments that result in one of the following:
Chronic Severe Pain
Persistent Severe Muscle Spasms
The doctor will issue a written certification of the diagnosis and either upload this on the online MMMP registry in the patient’s name or hand over a printed copy to the patient. The patient must then proceed with the online patient application. If the doctor had not uploaded the written certification, the patient must scan the printed copy and upload it during the online application process.
The application for a patient who is a minor or a mentally or physically incapacitated adult has to be done by a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver by mail. The minor patient packet or adult patient packet must be printed, filled out, and sent with the necessary documentation to the following address:
Michigan Medical Marijuana Program
P.O. Box 30083
Lansing, MI 48909
A non-incapacitated adult patient who needs a caregiver to help purchase medical cannabis and medical cannabis products may mail the printed and filled-out caregiver form along with the necessary documentation to the same address, but only after receiving the patient’s medical cannabis card.
A fee of $40 must be paid for each of these applications. The processing of the medical cannabis cards takes about 20 working days.
Further queries may be addressed to:
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Cannabis Regulatory Agency
The MMFLA and the MRTMA allow municipalities in St. Clair County to charge each medical or adult-use cannabis facility within their jurisdictions an annual fee of $5,000.
In addition, the MRTMA of the State of Michigan subjects adult-use cannabis to taxation, and counties and municipalities with licensed adult-use cannabis establishments benefit from the allocation of tax revenues. All adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products sold to consumers are subject to a 10% excise tax based on price. Furthermore, a 6% state sales tax is levied on the sum of the original price plus the excise tax.
The allocation of tax revenues from adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products is as follows:
Counties that have adult-use cannabis facilities receive 15%, divided among them based on the number of facilities the county has
Municipalities that have adult-use cannabis facilities receive 15%, divided among them based on the number of facilities the municipality has
The School Aid Fund receives 35% to be used for K-12 education
The Michigan Transportation Fund receives 35% for bridges and roads that need repair or maintenance
The Michigan Department of Treasury’s report on the FY 2022 Adult-Use Marijuana Distributions shows that as of February 23, 2023, 64 counties received a total of more than $29.75 million, and 81 cities, 53 townships, and 26 villages received a total of the same amount. St. Clair County received more than $51,800. The City of Memphis in St. Clair County received the same amount for having one licensed adult-use cannabis facility.
Medical cannabis was first legalized in St. Clair County in 2008, and adult-use cannabis was legalized in 2018 in municipalities that opted into the MRTMA.
Data from the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that in 2007, the year prior to medical cannabis legalization, there were 71 marijuana offense arrests, comprised of 24 arrests for possession and 47 arrests for sales or manufacturing.
In 2009, which was the year after the legalization of medical cannabis, there were 113 marijuana offense arrests, comprised of 40 arrests for possession and 73 arrests for sales or manufacturing.
In 2010, there were 84 marijuana offense arrests, comprised of 25 arrests for possession and 59 arrests for sales or manufacturing.
In 2019, the year after the legalization of adult-use cannabis, there were two marijuana offense arrests, both for possession.
In 2021, which is the latest available data, there was one marijuana offense arrest, for sales or manufacturing.
The number of DUI arrests was as follows in those years:
2007: 317 arrests
2009: 179 arrests
2010: 179 arrests
2019: 126 arrests
2021: 120 arrests