In 2018, Michigan voters approved legalized cannabis for recreational adult use, and Michigan’s cannabis industry has grown substantially since that time. It is legal to use cannabis in the Traverse City region on a limited basis (details below). There are a number of licensed dispensaries where you can buy cannabis; however, smoking cannabis in public is not permitted and you cannot drive under the influence of cannabis.
Whether you know it by marijuana, pot, or another name, before you use cannabis, it’s important to understand some of the ins and outs of medicinal and recreational cannabis – what’s allowed and what is safe in the area.
Keeping it Safe and Legal
If you are considering using cannabis in the Traverse City area, it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations. In Michigan:
- It is legal for adults (21 and older) to possess up to 2.5 oz. and use cannabis for recreational purposes. Further, medical marijuana users are also subject to most of the same laws and rules that are applied to recreational use in terms of location and permissibility of use.
- You can buy cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Medical dispensaries are authorized to sell different products from recreational facilities, and several businesses offer both types in one setting.
- You cannot smoke cannabis in public, including while in a vehicle on a Michigan roadway or in a boat on a Michigan waterway. In Michigan, smoking (including cannabis) is prohibited in restaurants, hotels, and other public buildings.
- Law enforcement may arrest people they suspect of driving under the influence of marijuana and may issue a civil infraction/ticket if they suspect or observe an individual consuming in public.
- It is illegal to use cannabis at some parks, beaches, and trails in the area, in addition to anywhere within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Please check the rules ahead of your visit to be on the safe side!
- You can use cannabis on private property as long as you have permission from the occupant, landlord, and property owner. Visitors may also seek out Designated Marijuana Consumption Establishments where they are safely permitted to partake.
- You cannot give cannabis to anyone under the age of 21.
As noted above, many places specifically prohibit cannabis use and it’s important to verify you are not violating those rules; plan ahead for a safe, legal experience. It’s also important that you remain aware of the rules in your chosen overnight accommodations; many lodging properties have specific rules and don’t permit smoking or possession of controlled substances on the premises.
Anyone using or carrying cannabis should be respectful of the laws, the planet, and those around you. For example, if you are near children, it’s important to ensure you have safely stored your cannabis. Individuals may not sell to each other or provide cannabis to anyone under the age of 21.
It is important to note that cannabis use is still illegal under federal law. This means that you could face federal charges if you are caught using or possessing cannabis in Michigan, and you should not use cannabis on any federally managed property such as the airport or Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
You should also talk to a doctor or other healthcare professional to learn more about the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use.
The Cannabis Regulatory Agency of Michigan maintains an interactive map of licensed cannabis facilities in our area and across the state. The industry has continued to change rapidly in our region and each facility might offer a different product. Some are focused on giving back to the community, catering to visitors, or preserving and protecting our natural environment.
Traveling with Cannabis
Under federal law, cannabis remains illegal as a controlled substance, and it carries harsh penalties for possession and use. Airports are considered federal property and therefore follow federal laws; you can be charged with a crime for possessing or using cannabis in any U.S. airport including Cherry Capital Airport.
While you may drive within Michigan with cannabis products – so long as they are kept in a sealed container or in the trunk of the vehicle - it is a federal crime to transport cannabis across state borders.
You can find more information about specific rules and laws that might impact your visit here:
- State of Michigan regulations and taxation
- State of Michigan Marijuana Brochure
- State of Michigan Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law
- Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy Property Rules
- Grand Traverse County Parks Rules
- Traverse City Region – Other FAQs
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – Medical Marijuana instructions