Cannabis in Michigan
Marijuana Venture’s ongoing series on every legal market in the United States explores the ever-changing rules and regulations, market trends, demographics, business leaders and more for each state that has legalized recreational marijuana. This month takes an in-depth look at Michigan, the 10th state to enact a recreational cannabis program.
Michigan was one of 21 states that did not ban cannabis prior to the beginning of federal prohibition with the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. However, state lawmakers enacted strict penalties — and largely targeted minority communities — of up to 20-year sentences for the possession or sale of cannabis in 1952.
State advocates for legalization started making headway in 1967 when The Michigan Daily, the University of Michigan’s student newspaper, received national attention for an editorial urging lawmakers to legalize marijuana. In 1969, John Sinclair was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of two joints, causing public outcry and reigniting the legalization debate.
In 1971, the Ann Arbor City Council reduced penalties for cannabis possession to $5.
That same year saw the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, which hosted musicians such as John Lennon, and advocated against the state’s cannabis laws. The event drew national attention and three days later the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the state’s cannabis penalties were unconstitutional and Sinclair was released from prison.
However, it wasn’t until 2008 when voters legalized medical marijuana.
In 2018, Michigan voters passed the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, establishing a legal adult-use market.
Next month, Marijuana Venture will look at Illinois. For information about upcoming issues or to learn about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Editor@MarijuanaVenture.com.
A special thanks to all the sponsors who helped make this issue possible: C3 Industries, Edgewood Wellness, High Level Health, High Life Farms, Huron View Dispensary, Narvona, Northern Specialty Health and Pincanna.
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