House Expected to Vote on Marijuana Decriminalization Bill This Month
It was back in 2008 when Michigan legalized medical marijuana and started issuing cards to patients. It took a few years to get it right, but it has been a successful program since 2016 and the second largest in the United States behind California. Prior to that program, possession of marijuana in Michigan could cost you a $2000 fine and up to a year in jail. Sales and cultivation were a felony with up to 15 years in prison and up to 10 million dollars in fines. It was in November 2018 that voters approved a cannabis legalization measure which was put into effect in 2020.
Michigan was the 10th state and the first in the Midwest to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Several dispensaries have added recreational sales to their medical sales menu in Michigan this year.
According to Wikipedia “The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act allows persons age 21 and over to have up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in public, up to 10 ounces at home, and cultivate up to 12 plants at home. It also sets up a system for the state-licensed cultivation and distribution of cannabis, with sales subject to a 10% excise tax (in addition to the state's 6% sales tax).”
One of the big issues of cannabis sales is the fact it is a cash only business. Because it is not legal according to federal law, banks will not work with these businesses. The house is voting on a bill this month that could change that.
WILX reports “Congress is expected to vote on a bill this month that would federally decriminalize marijuana. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, known as the MORE Act, would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. The bill, sponsored by New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, also drops criminal penalties for anyone who manufactures, distributes, or has marijuana.
This bill also puts a 5% tax on marijuana products, that money would be put in a trust fund to help support programs and services for people and businesses affected by the federal war on drugs. Senator Kamala Harris introduced the More Act in the senate last year. It is expected to have a tough time getting through the GOP dominated senate.