Tax and Regulate

Michigan: Take action to support marijuana expungement

Click here to send a message to your state senator.

Earlier this month, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation to create a simple process for people to expunge marijuana convictions from their records. A package of bills that includes marijuana expungement is expected to receive a vote in the Senate during the first week of December.

Please send a message to your state senator urging them to vote in favor of allowing expungement for past marijuana convictions.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has expressed strong support for the idea and will likely sign the proposal into law if it reaches her desk. 

The legislation could impact an estimated 235,000 residents in Michigan who have been convicted of an offense that is now legal under the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law. These convictions unfairly hold people back and make it much more difficult to secure a job.

Last year, the voters of Michigan decided adults shouldn’t be treated as lawbreakers for using marijuana. But those who were harmed by the war on marijuana are still being punished. Please ask your state senator to support expungement and end this injustice.

Thank you.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan: The wait for legal marijuana stores will soon be over

Regulators have announced December 1 as the first day of adult-use sales

Big news! Starting next month, Michiganders will be able to legally purchase marijuana from regulated businesses. Yesterday, officials with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that a “dozen or so” existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be authorized to open their doors and sell a portion of their supply to adults 21 and older on December 1.

It’s been just over a year since voters approved Proposal 1, which ended marijuana prohibition and paved the way for the establishment of a legal marijuana market. Since then, state regulators have worked expeditiously to establish a regulatory framework for legal sales. Compared to other legalization states, Michigan’s implementation timeline has been fairly quick.

In just a few weeks, adults in Michigan will be able to legally purchase marijuana from a licensed business. This is a huge milestone, because shifting marijuana sales into a regulated environment is a win for public health and public safety. And this was one of the primary goals when MPP decided to launch the legalization ballot initiative campaign back in 2017. This is what it looks like when we win.

Thanks to the hard work of the MPP staff and campaign team, volunteers, generous donors, and the wisdom of the voters, we’re seeing the beginning of a new chapter of marijuana policy in Michigan.

But marijuana remains federally illegal, and there are still only 11 legal states, so please consider contributing to MPP to help us bring reform to the rest of the country.

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Tax and Regulate

Legalization + social justice in Michigan

If you live in Michigan, ask your state legislators to support automatic expungement for low-level marijuana offenses.

For decades, marijuana prohibition destroyed lives and harmed communities in Michigan. Fortunately, voters said enough is enough and passed Prop 1 last year. As the state now moves forward with implementing a legal marijuana market, we must take steps to undo past injustices and support those who have been most impacted by punitive marijuana laws.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has publicly called for prior low-level marijuana offenses to be erased from individuals' criminal records. And now, state Sen. Jeff Irwin is sponsoring legislation, SB 263, to automatically expunge prior marijuana use and possession convictions, which could affect nearly 250,000 residents in the state.

Send a letter to your state legislators and ask them to support this important legislation.

In a related update, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency recently released rules to implement Prop 1's social equity provisions. Residents of the 19 cities in which marijuana arrests rates were disproportionately higher than the rest of the state will be eligible for technical assistance, fee reductions, and educational resources to help them get a leg up in obtaining a marijuana business license. You can find a list of the cities and more details about the new regulations here.

As Michigan finds itself in an exciting new era of legalization, we cannot leave behind those who have suffered as a result of prohibition. It is encouraging to see policymakers taking steps to address these issues, and we will continue monitoring the state's progress.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan regulators publish rules for implementing adult-use legalization

Last week, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued emergency rules signed by Gov. Whitmer to guide the process of establishing a legal cannabis market for adults in Michigan.

The new regulations include several forward-thinking provisions, including the creation of licenses for on-site cannabis consumption areas and temporary events, so long as they are permitted by the local town or city government. The guidelines also address how the agency will work to promote participation in the cannabis industry by communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition. You can read a summary of the emergency rules here. Head regulators have announced their intention to begin accepting applications for marijuana business licenses by November, and sales are expected to start early next year.

MPP was the driving force behind passage of Proposal 1 — the 2018 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana in Michigan. We are excited to see implementation moving forward, and we are proud of the progress that is being made. The voters agreed with us that prohibition must be dismantled, and now, we are watching that happen!

We are grateful to all of you who have steadfastly supported our marijuana reform efforts over the years. The hard work is paying off. Let's remain engaged and ensure that the implementation process in Michigan continues to follow the spirit and letter of the law.

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Tax and Regulate

State officials are seeking input on Michigan’s marijuana regulations

As the state’s medical marijuana program undergoes significant changes and regulators take steps to implement the voter-approved adult-use legalization initiative, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency is asking the public the weigh in.

The newly formed agency will hold its first meeting on Thursday, June 13 at 9:30 a.m. in the Williams Building, located at 525 W. Ottawa Street in Lansing. If you are unable to attend the hearing in person, the event will be livestreamed on the state’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Facebook page. The public is also encouraged to email comments to MRA-Legal@michigan.gov.

Passage of Prop 1, which legalized marijuana for adult use last year, was a huge step forward in establishing more sensible marijuana policies in the state, but smooth and fair implementation of the law is also critical. If you have concerns or opinions about the future of marijuana in Michigan, please get involved and share your views with the agency.

Thank you.

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Medical Marijuana||Tax and Regulate

Developments in Michigan’s adult-use and medical marijuana programs

The Marijuana Policy Project led the successful 2018 campaign to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Michigan. Since voters approved Prop 1 last November, Michigan’s marijuana landscape has seen significant changes. A few recent updates are worth bringing to your attention.

In March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order establishing the Marijuana Regulatory Agency within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The new agency will soon replace the controversial Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, which held its final meeting last week. Read more here.

A Michigan court overruled a previous deadline and is allowing dozens of unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to remain open around the state, as caregivers continue to supply the market. Licensed businesses, which must comply with stricter regulations, want regulators to close these unlicensed entities down. A bill in the legislature would require businesses to be licensed by June 1 to continue operating.

State regulators are considering ways to satisfy a portion of Michigan’s adult-use legalization law that requires “a plan to promote and encourage participation in the marihuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition.” The provision was included to address the fact that communities of color saw significantly higher marijuana arrest rates compared to predominantly white areas under the old law.

The final rules for Michigan’s adult-use marijuana market are due this December. As regulators and stakeholders continue to shape the future of marijuana in the state, we’ll keep you informed about new developments.

Stay tuned!

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Medical Marijuana

Wisconsin Gov. Evers proposing decrim, medical cannabis as part of his budget

If you live in Wisconsin, let your state lawmakers know it's time for humane marijuana policies.

Wisconsin is rapidly becoming an island of backwards marijuana laws.

Minnesota and Illinois have both decriminalized marijuana and legalized medical cannabis. Meanwhile, in November, Michigan voters made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for adults.

Gov. Tony Evers (D) has a bold vision to improve Wisconsin's marijuana laws. His budget, which will be released in late February, will propose decriminalization and expungement, along with a comprehensive medical cannabis program.

But Gov. Evers can't fix Wisconsin's outdated marijuana laws on his own. His proposal would have to pass the legislature, where Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) is opposed. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) has said he is "open to medical marijuana when it is prescribed by a doctor," but that Evers' proposal goes too far.

That's where you come in: Write your assemblymember and senator to ask them to support Evers' proposal and to push for it to get a vote.

Then, share this message with friends and family so that they, too, can speak up for commonsense cannabis policies.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan: The fight for marijuana policy reform moves to the local level

After Prop 1's victory last November, we celebrated the end of marijuana prohibition in Michigan. But the effort to move marijuana policy reform forward isn't over. The frontlines have now shifted to cities and towns, where many municipalities are imposing bans on marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.

It's not only about holding the line. Local activism opens up the possibility of more progress, too. Organizers in Ann Arbor, for example, are working to put a social use initiative on the ballot in 2020.

We encourage supporters of sensible marijuana policies in Michigan to get involved in political spaces at the local level in two main ways:

  • Get to know your city council members and attend local meetings. Express your views on how you think legal marijuana could benefit your community — just remember to always be respectful.

  • Help organize a local petition effort to repeal bans on marijuana businesses. Prop 1 allows residents to place certain marijuana policy questions on the ballot, provided they collect enough signatures, equal to 5% of the number of votes cast for governor. Click here to see a map of cities and towns where bans have already been enacted or are pending.

In some communities, bans on marijuana businesses are being imposed despite the fact that a majority of residents voted for Prop 1. We cannot sit on the sidelines while the will of the voters is ignored by city officials.

Let's bring our movement for sensible marijuana policies to the local level in 2019!

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Tax and Regulate

Pennsylvania’s governor indicates support for legalization!

If you live in Pennsylvanis, let your lawmakers know it’s time to stop jailing marijuana consumers.

With Pennsylvania’s legislative session just getting underway, it’s already clear that marijuana policy reform is going to be a hot topic of discussion.

At least two legalization bills will be introduced, and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) now says the state should take a “serious and honest look” at ending marijuana prohibition. However, significant obstacles remain, not least of which is opposition from legislative leaders.

That’s why it’s so important you reach out to your state lawmakers. Let them know it’s time to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with thoughtful regulation and taxation.

Unlike Michigan and most other states that have legalized marijuana for adults’ use, Pennsylvania lacks a voter initiative process. That means the only way to end prohibition — or to decriminalize cannabis — is through the legislature.

So, please take a minute to make your voice heard. Your lawmakers represent you, and they want to know how their constituents feel about this issue.

Then, please pass on this message so your friends and family can also speak out against the disastrous war on marijuana.

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Medical Marijuana

Indiana’s legislative session kicks off today

If you live in Indiana, ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program today!

Today marks the first day of Indiana’s legislative session. With the 2018 elections behind us, it’s time to push for medical marijuana in the Hoosier State. Lawmakers will feel increased pressure to reform Indiana’s outdated marijuana laws, especially since neighboring Ohio and Michigan have legalized medical and adult use marijuana, respectively.

Senate Democrats have made medical marijuana legalization part of their 2019 legislative agenda. Across the aisle, Republican Rep. Jim Lucas has filed legislation to allow medical marijuana.

If lawmakers hear from enough constituents, they will be more likely to support Rep. Lucas’ compassionate bill. Please contact your lawmakers today and ask that they support medical marijuana in 2019. Then, please share the link with your friends and family. Together, we can bring relief to thousands of patients in Indiana.

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