Michigan Cannabis Law History

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was approved by 62% of voters during the November 2008 elections. It allowed patients to with a doctor’s recommendation to cultivate up to twelve (12) marijuana plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. It also set up a patient registry under the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), but that’s as far as the Act went – it did not set up a state-run licensing program and did not address the legality of dispensaries or commercial cultivation.

In 2016, the state passed the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (Act 281 of 2016), which sets up licensing and regulation framework for growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers, and safety compliance facilities. Also passed was HB 4827 (Act 283 – Marihuana Tracking Act; creates seed-to-sale tracking system), and HB 4210 (Act 282 – Amends the original 2008 Act to allow for the manufacture and use of marijuana-infused products by qualified patients). These three acts combined will create a licensing and regulatory framework for medical marijuana.

Qualifying Conditions

Certified physicians may only recommend medical marijuana for the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Nail patella
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • (3) Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department, as provided for in section 6(k) of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.


Key Dates

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs began accepting applications for all types of licenses on December 15, 2017.

There is currently no date by which the Department will stop accepting applications.

Application Fees/Start-up Costs

The application fee for each type of license is $6,000. Applicants must also provide proof of financial responsibility in an amount no less than $100,000.

License types

There are seven (7) license types available:

  • Grower
  • Class A (500 plants)
  • Class B (1,000 plants)
  • Class C (1,500 plants)
  • Processor
  • Transporter
  • Provisioning Center
  • Safety Compliance Facility

Applicants may begin the application process before securing a location for their facility, per the Department’s two-step process that includes a pre-qualification phase.

       Photo by Flickr user versageek