More than a year after voters in Michigan approved a measure legalizing pot, thousands of people from across the Great Lakes region lined up at stores throughout the state to make an historic purchase.
“I wanted to be a part of history,” said Kelly Savage, a 25-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, as quoted by the The Detroit News. “It was worth it, even if it was just a half an ounce, it was worth it.”
The outlet reported that Savage forked over $480 in cash for an ounce of Platinum OG, “a flower with a high content of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.”
Savage told The Detroit News that he has Type 1 diabetes, and that marijuana can be more effective in treatment than insulin.
Gregg Etzel, a 67-year-old from Ann Arbor, Michigan, showed up to buy nearly $300 worth of marijuana flower and wax.
“It got me off opioids. The withdrawal was awful. The doctors did that to me. With marijuana, there is no withdrawal,” Etzel told The Detroit News.
A New Law Goes Into Effect
Michigan voters passed Proposition 1, which legalized recreational marijuana for adults, by a 12-point margin in last year’s election. From there, it was down to state lawmakers to work out the rules and regulatory framework to govern the newfound industry. In July, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a series of emergency rules regarding licensing applications and outlining distinctions between the recreational and medical industries. (Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008).
The legislation established three new categories of licensed marijuana businesses. One would permit individuals to become pot-themed event planners, another would allow them to host marijuana events (a la the Cannabis Cup), while the third would enable people to open social clubs where marijuana use is allowed but nothing else can be sold. The rules also eliminated the capital assets requirement that applies to medical marijuana owners, who must prove they have assets worth between $150,000 and $500,000 in order to be eligible for a license. That hurdle will not be in place for would-be recreational pot businesses.
Last month, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency began accepting applications for a number of different license types.
The new law allows consumers to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time, though it cannot be consumed in public. It became the tenth state to legalize recreational marijuana, a movement that began in 2012, when voters in Colorado and Michigan approved their own measures.