LANSING, Michigan — Michigan became the 10th U.S. state — and first in the Midwest — to legalize recreational pot.
“Michigan will be the first state in the Midwest to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated for adult use,” Marijuana Policy Project deputy director Matthew Schweich, who directed the legalization campaign, said in a statement. “Adults will no longer be punished for consuming a substance less harmful than alcohol, and rather than having to resort to the illegal market, they will be able to access it safely and legally from licensed businesses.”
Voters passed Proposal 18-1 into law. The initiative allows for the possession of up to 2.5 ounces, or up to 10 ounces at a private residence, for those 21 and older. The measure also legalizes the personal cultivation of up to 12 marijuana plants.
The initiative establishes a licensed and regulated system of marijuana retail outlets, which will be supplied by licensed cultivation centers. Marijuana will receive a 10% excise tax in addition to the standard 6% sales tax.
Michigan now joins nine other states that have legalized marijuana for all uses: Washington, Colorado, California, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Vermont.
Sales there, estimated to start in 2020, could grow to as much as $1.7 billion in the coming years, according to the trade publication Marijuana Business Daily. The total legal U.S. market is expected to hit about $11 billion in sales in 2018.