Michigan Medical Marijuana Law

You can legally use medical cannabis under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) if you have a qualifying condition and obtain a medical marijuana card. While you can also legally purchase recreational marijuana, your status as a medical user allows you access to higher concentration products.

Medical marijuana is a valuable treatment for managing the effects of several chronic and debilitating medical conditions. The treatment can improve your tolerance for routine daily activity. This may return your former level of function and restore your lost quality of life.

If you suffer from a persistent condition that impacts your daily life, you are likely eligible for treatment. Understanding the differences between medical and recreational laws, the regulations you must follow, and the application process is necessary for treating safely, effectively, and legally.

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Michigan Medical Marijuana Law History

Marijuana was illegal in Michigan through the 20th century and into the early 2000s. While Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, decriminalized possession of small amounts in the 1970s, marijuana possession remained punishable with fines and imprisonment everywhere else.

As belief in marijuana's medicinal value grew nationwide and studies began showing its positive effects on chronic and terminal conditions, advocates began pushing for medical marijuana legislation in Michigan.

In 2008, the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative passed with 63% of the vote. The act allowed patients with authorized medical conditions and doctor approval to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.

The legislation did not establish clear parameters for dispensaries or oversight. As a result, sellers began operating businesses that were neither legal nor illegal. Unfortunately, this lack of clarity led to a Michigan Supreme Court case that banned dispensary operations.

Based on patients' embrace of cannabis and growing societal support, lawmakers passed legislation establishing a regulatory framework, tax structure, and oversight of the medical cannabis industry in 2016. As a result, Michiganders can confidently purchase safe and effective medical marijuana.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Michigan

Qualifying patients and their primary caregivers may possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana at any time. At home, you can keep up to 10 ounces. Your cannabis must be stored in a sealed container in a secure location. The following are equivalent to 1 ounce of usable marijuana:

  • 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused product
  • 7 grams of gaseous marijuana-infused product
  • 36 fluid ounces of liquid marijuana-infused product

You may grow 12 marijuana plants. Under Michigan state law, every grower must cultivate their plants indoors in a locked area. If growing your marijuana outdoors, the plants cannot be visible at ground level and must be enclosed on all sides by secure fencing.

Michigan Public Consumption Laws

Public consumption of marijuana is prohibited throughout the state, even if you have a medical marijuana card. You can only legally consume cannabis in your residence or as a guest in another private space. Despite the state’s legalization of adult-use medical marijuana, smoking, vaping, and consuming edibles are all prohibited in public.

You cannot legally have more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana outside of your home. Possession in a park or within 1,000 feet of areas with children is considered a felony or a misdemeanor at the presiding judge’s determination. Offenses are punished with a fine of up to $2,000 and up to two years in prison.

Michigan Cannabis DUI Laws

Michigan has a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis use while operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat. Passengers cannot smoke cannabis while a vehicle is in motion.

A first-time DUI offense is punished with up to 360 hours of community service, 93 days in jail, a $300 fine, and a license suspension. The minimum penalties rise with each subsequent violation.

Applying for A Michigan Medical Marijuana Card?

Adult medical marijuana patients without a caregiver may apply for a medical marijuana identification card online or by mail. Patients under 18 years of age and adult patients using a caregiver must submit a paper application.

Your first step is to undergo an evaluation with a licensed Michigan physician. They will discuss the benefits and risks of marijuana. Doctors issue certification if you have a qualifying medical condition that will benefit from marijuana use. Some such conditions include chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, muscle spasms, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Crohn’s disease.

After your physician completes the form, you can upload it online at the Iowa Department of Public Health's website. Make sure to attach a copy of your driver's license and pay the $100 application feeAdults who apply with a paper application and minors must download and complete the necessary registration form. You then attach a legible copy of your Michigan driver's license, state-issued ID, or signed voter registration card.

Include a copy of the physician certification and a $40 check or money order payable to the State of Michigan-MMMP. Completed packets should be mailed to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program, PO Box 30083, Lansing, MI 48909.

The Michigan application process has multiple steps and various forms. All renewals and changes must be submitted by mail. Duplicate and erroneous applications are denied.

The Sanctuary can help you determine the correct type of application to file and guide you through the registration packet. We will also connect you with an experienced medical marijuana doctor who can issue your certification.


Michigan legalized recreational marijuana in 2016. The same possession, DUI, and public consumption laws apply to both classes of cannabis. Recreational marijuana is taxed at a higher rate than medical marijuana. The THC concentration of recreational cannabis is lower than medical products.

Registered patients and their caregivers can possess flowers for smoking, consumables such as gummies and baked goods, vape cartridges, marijuana-infused beverages, topical creams and gels, capsules, transdermal patches, and tinctures.

You cannot possess more than 15 grams of marijuana concentrate. You are allowed to possess any form of consumable marijuana or hashish within the 2.5-ounce or 10-ounce maximum.

You can possess a maximum of 10 ounces of usable marijuana. This is the cumulative amount of whatever form of marijuana you have on hand.

Michigan allows each dispensary to determine if they will or will not accept an out-of-state medical marijuana card. While you can legally purchase recreational marijuana as a visitor, you should still carry your medical marijuana card.

Medical cannabis products are permitted to have higher THC concentrations than recreational products. You should contact dispensaries where you will visit to find out if they accept cards from your home state.

You can obtain a patient card with a felony in Michigan. A 2021 court ruling allows registered cardholders to treat using cannabis while on probation.

You cannot register as a caregiver for an adult patient or minor if you have a felony conviction involving illegal drugs, a violent felony conviction, or any felony conviction within 10 years of your application.