Cannabis cultivation has been legal in Washtenaw County since the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) took effect in December 2018. Under Section 333.27955, persons aged 21 or older are permitted to cultivate 12 marijuana plants in their residences for medical or recreational use, regardless of the number of persons living under the same roof. Outdoor cultivation is allowed as long as it is not visible from a public place using optical devices. Moreover, the cultivating area must also be equipped with security devices and not easily accessible to the public. All products must be kept away from children and safely stored in locked containers.
The state also licenses marijuana establishments in Washtenaw County according to Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) to cultivate the following amount of plants:
Marijuana Microbusiness - not more than 150 plants
Class A Marihuana Grower - not more than 100 plants
Class B Marihuana Grower - not more than 500 plants
Class C Marihuana Grower - not more than 2,000 plants
Commercial marijuana growers should cultivate inside a building. However, outdoor cultivation may be permitted if the growing area is adjacent to the building and has security measures to ensure that it is not easily accessible and visible to the public. After harvesting, all other processes such as drying, trimming, curing, or packaging, should be done inside the building.
As of March 2022, three municipalities opted into the MMFLA. Establishments may apply for a license as growers in Ann Arbor, Sharon Township, and Ypsilanti.
Yes. Marijuana processors are licensed by the state to acquire marijuana from establishments, process, package, and sell or otherwise transfer them to other marijuana establishments legally. In line with the MMFLA, licensed marijuana processors may also be found in Ann Arbor, Sharon Township, and Ypsilanti municipalities. Interested applicants may submit their complete application to the Michigan Department Of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
Marijuana processors are strictly prohibited from producing edible marijuana-infused candies in shapes, or packages that appeal to children or that may be mistaken for commercial candies that don’t include marijuana. Processing is only allowed in the physical address approved by LARA – an enclosed area with appropriate security measures to prevent unauthorized entry. Furthermore, Section 9 of the MRTMA requires marijuana establishments to be located at least 1,000 feet away from a public or private school offering education for kindergarten up to Grade 12 unless allowed by the municipality. These establishments should also not be located in a residential area.
Washtenaw County allows cannabis retail for both medical and recreational use. However, it was only in 2019 that Michigan dispensaries were allowed to sell cannabis products for recreational use. According to Section 333.27961, all retailers may only transport a total of 15 ounces of marijuana or 60 grams of marijuana concentrate at a time. All products to be sold or transported should be in an opaque, resealable, and child-resistant package. Additionally, the packaging of marijuana-infused edibles should not be attractive to children.
People aged 18 or above registered in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) may buy and consume marijuana. Having a medical card entitles the person to a 10% excise tax discount when purchasing marijuana in the state. On the other hand, recreational use is only legal for those aged 21 and above. Washtenaw County residents may be able to buy several cannabis products, including flowers, pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, extracts, topicals, tinctures, concentrates, and accessories from licensed dispensaries in the county.
Licensed establishments in Washtenaw County may offer cannabis delivery to both MMMP card holders and recreational users as stated in R 420.207. Orders and payments may be accepted online by the licensed marijuana sales location. Delivery may only be accepted if the user is at least 21 years old and the delivery location is the physical residence of the registered qualifying patient, the residential address of the recreational user, or the address of a designated consumption establishment.
All marijuana retailers licensed under the MRTMA offering delivery services are only allowed to transport up to 15 ounces of marijuana or 60 grams of marijuana concentrate at a time. During delivery, the delivery employee is in charge of verifying the receiver’s identity. No marijuana product should be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle has an active security alarm system.
All qualifying legal residents of Washtenaw County aged 18 and above may apply for a medical marijuana card through the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) website. For those who opt to have a designated caregiver, the caregiver must be at least 21 years old to register in the MMMP. All patients must first receive a medical evaluation from a Michigan physician prior to application. To qualify for the program, the patient must have at least one of the following debilitating conditions:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Spinal Cord Injury
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A chronic condition or its treatment that results in the following: Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms
All applicants will be asked to provide a valid identification card. The MMMP allows up to 20 business days from the patient’s date of application to issue a registry identification card or a denial letter. If it has already been more than five weeks of not receiving any notification from the MMMP, they may be reached at 517-284-6400.
Cannabis sales in Washtenaw County are subject to a 10% excise tax following Michigan’s regulations. The state will allocate all sales based on the Medical Marihuana Excise Fund and the MRTMA.
A Medical Marihuana Excise Fund was created in accordance with Section 333.27602 of Public Act 281 of 2016 and will be distributed as follows:
25% to municipalities in proportion to the number of its marijuana facilities
30% to counties in proportion to the number of its marijuana facilities
5% to counties in proportion to the number of its marijuana facilities to be used to support the county sheriffs
30% to the state
5% to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards
5% to the Department of State Police
Moreover, recreational marijuana funds collected under the MRTMA are allocated as follows:
15% to municipalities in proportion to the number of its marijuana retail stores or microbusiness
15% to counties in proportion to the number of its marijuana retail stores or microbusiness
35% for K-12 education under the School Aid Fund
35% for the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges under the Michigan Transportation Fund
According to the Michigan Department of Treasury, more than $1.1 billion in adult-use marijuana sales was reported for the fiscal year 2021 – $111 million was collected from the 10% adult-use marijuana excise tax. Washtenaw County, having several marijuana retailers and microbusinesses with different jurisdictions, topped the list of counties contributing more than $42 million to the state. Based on the state allocations, Washtenaw County has received a total of $1,806,510.08 from marijuana revenues collected in the fiscal year 2021.
As part of the state of Michigan, Washtenaw County has legalized medical marijuana since 2008. On the other hand, the legalization of recreational marijuana followed ten years later. According to the available report of Washtenaw County State Police on the FBI Crime Data Explorer, marijuana possession offenses in the county have significantly decreased since its legalization – from 113 arrests in 2015 to zero in 2021. Additionally, arrests for marijuana drug sale offenses also reduced from 18 in 2016 to zero in 2021.