Marijuana for medical uses was legalized in 2008. Marijuana for recreational use became legal on Dec. 6, 2018.
It is now legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. It is also legal to grow up to 12 plants per household.
There are twelve federally-recognized tribes in Michigan. The DOJ marijuana policy on tribal reservations applies to these Michigan tribes. Each is federally recognized as sovereign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department.
For a complete list of Michigan tribes and their locations, see our page about Michigan Tribes.
Michigan tribes recognize the challenges and business opportunities of the cannabis industry, and a few are actively pursuing these opportunities.
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis plant grown for industrial use.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow tribes to self-administer hemp production on their reservations if they submit an acceptable plan. See U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
USDA-Approved Hemp Plans - MICHIGAN
|Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa||Approved Plan|
|State of Michigan||Drafting plan|
September 1, 2020
Bay Mills Indian Community
Last week the Bay Mills Indian Community announced plans to create an independent, tribal marijuana business to compete against the Michigan-regulated medical and recreational marijuana market. The enterprise will operate solely on reservation land making it exempt from state regulation.
Bay Mills counsel, Whitney Gravelle, said:
"Bay Mills as a sovereign nation has always made its prerogative to control and regulate its own tribal lands. d. "By not opting into the state license and state jurisdiction, we're able to control how we are regulating the product that we make."
The Bay Mills operation will be vertically-integrated with cultivation, processing and retail sales. One hundred ten acres is planned for cultivation. An existing building will be used as a grow facility for 10,000 marijuana plants and alos provide processing space.
Bay Mills Indian Grow Facility near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
The first retail store will open next year. In the future the tribe expects to open additional retail outlets on its lands throughout the state including the Lower Peninsula.
This move will diversify the tribe's economy which currently based on its casino resort operation. The tribe owns the Bay Mills Resort & Casinos, which includes 2 casinos, restaurants, a 142-room hotel, a RV park, and an 18-hole golf course.
August 1, 2020
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has formed a partnership with Lume Cannabis, the largest vertically-integrated cannabis operator in Michigan. The partners will open a newly-licensed cannabis store on tribal land followed by five additional stores over the next two years.
"We are honored to work with the top cannabis operator in Michigan to bring high-quality cannabis products to medical patients and adult-use consumers who live in or visit Sault Ste. Marie and the Eastern Upper Peninsula area. The Sault Tribe is working progressively to diversify economic development to enhance revenues to expand services to Sault Tribe Members. Lume has the expertise, passion, values and philosophy that make them the ideal company to work with to bring recreational cannabis to Sault Ste. Marie."
- Joel Schultz, Executive Director of Sault Tribe Economic Development
The six cannabis stores will all be on tribal reservation land and will sell more than 20 strains of flower, which are grown in Evart, MI. The stores will also sell pre-rolls, edibles and CBD products.
December 13, 2019
The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is seeking state licensing to grow, process and sale marijuana as a long-term profitable business for the tribe.
Gary Loonsfoot Jr, Vice Chair of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and its Director of Cannabis Development. Mr. Loonsfoot said:
"We're definitely the first tribe to do this, and we're pushing for it, but we want to establish a path for it as well".
"We want to create something that will service our people, and the communities for generations to come".
Licensing is issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), which has no established procedures for state tribes. In a statement to TV6 & FOX UP, LARA said, "The [Marijuana Regulatory Agency] has been working to determine how best to approach tribal involvement in the marijuana industry. No official determination on the process has been made at this time."
Mr. Loonsfoot said, "I think it's important that we sit down, face to face with our state reps and hash something out, get something going. We want to do right by the state and follow the state guidelines".
The KBIC has started the licensing application process as a privately owned business. Loonsfoot will seek a modified process when he meets next week with officials of the governor's office.
April 16, 2019
The Bay Mills Indian Community is the first tribe in Michigan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana on its reservation.
On April 8 the Bay Mill Executive Council passed a tribal ordinance to allow growing, possession and private use of marijuana for recreational purposes. This follows a favorable vote by the General Tribal Council last January.
Provisions of the ordinance are similar to Michigan state law. The ordinance legalizes private use of marijuana, and prohibits public use. It also prohibits all commercial growing, processing or resale of marijuana on the reservation.
The Bay Mill Indian Community is located on the Upper Peninsula about 15 miles from Sault Ste. Marie. The population is about 2,000. The tribe owns Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley Michigan.
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