It’s been nearly eight months since Michigan’s marijuana legalization law took effect and the first retail sales are still months away.
Michiganders will have to wait until at least November to know if they’ll be able to buy marijuana at a store in time for Christmas — or wait until after the New Year.
The gap between legalization and the start of retail sales in states starting their own recreational marijuana industries is the national norm, according to an MLive analysis.
That’s due to the fact that nearly every state that has legalized adult-use marijuana has done so through a ballot initiative that’s drafted by activists and citizens, said Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a national reform group that has financed legalization efforts in many states. Schweich was the campaign director and treasurer of the 2018 legalization campaign in Michigan.
“This is because initiative drafters usually err on the side of caution so that deadlines are achievable for state agencies,” Schweich said. “Also, initiatives are written up to two years before Election Day, which makes it difficult to predict how quickly they can be effectuated.” [Read more at Michigan Live]