When marijuana possession is legalized, but sales are not, what is a cannabis user supposed to do? If purchasing weed is not allowed, the citizens of that state are left between a rock and a hard place to get their weed. But thanks to some savvy entrepreneurs, one state will have an easy time getting weed legally very soon.
On December 6th of 2018, recreational marijuana was made legal in the state of Michigan. The new laws allowed for anyone 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces on their person and 10 in total, storing the rest in a safe place, and they can grow up to twelve plants for personal use. This was an amazing day for the Wolverine state, and they celebrated like it was their first time getting high.
But the downfall of recreational legalization was the fact that sales and purchases of marijuana are still prohibited. It will eventually become legal, with sources stating that the state has to start excepting licensing applications within a year of the legalization date.
Ballotpedia says, “Proposal 1 requires the department to begin accepting applications for retail stores within 12 months of the measure's effective date. As the effective date was set for December 6, 2018, LARA has until December 6, 2019, to begin accepting applications for stores.”
This has caused some people to become upset and not know where to get their marijuana from. But thanks to a Virginia native who owns an online business, the people of Michigan will be able to get their weed and not break the law.
While purchasing marijuana is prohibited, being given marijuana free of charge is not. Gifting marijuana to someone is legal, as long as it is within the legal limit of 2.5 ounces. That is exactly what 33-year-old Brandon Anthony plans to do with his Michigan based customers.
Anthony created his online business On High Road, under the premise that he would be able to gift people marijuana so they can get what they need without breaking laws. Brandon Anthony spoke to The Detroit Free Press about how he can legally do this, and why he created an interesting business that literally gives marijuana away.
Anthony said, “There is a gifting clause within the law, so we give the cannabis to customers. Under the laws in Michigan, you can gift up to 2.5 ounces.”
Anthony has been operating for a while in Boston and Washington D.C., but he knew that Michigan would be a great venture considering the real need for a cannabis connection within the state.
Anthony explained, “Michigan has been on our radar since last year. With all the legal and licensing fees, we couldn’t afford (applying for a license), so we figured out a legal loophole. And I have an attorney that tells me all the legal loopholes are covered.”
Okay so what is Brandon Anthony’s business and how does it work? Basically, you go onto Anthony’s website and order what he is calling a “munchie bag”, as long as you are 21 or older. The bag contains either cookies, candies, muffins, or a t-shirt and will run anywhere from $55 to $120. And as a gift, you will receive marijuana for free.
While I personally think this is a genius idea and a great way to work the system, it seems that officials feel that this is an unwise choice. Because you would be buying incredibly overpriced merchandise, it is obvious that the money is because of the weed. Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael from Massachusetts says that even though it is a gray area, you are handing money over to receive marijuana, which is not what a gifting law was created for.
Carmichael said, “You have the legal retail side of things, and then you have the black market that has always existed that’s been out there, and then you create what’s called a gray market. At the end of the day, if there’s a transfer of money, you’re handing over marijuana, you’re handing over money. That is still against the law.”
Carmichael also points out that these types of business most likely are not testing for pesticides which can be dangerous to those who buy it.
He added, “It hasn’t been tested for pesticides or any type of chemicals. It’s very dangerous. This was the real reason why people wanted to legalize it, and by going back to this type of market, you’re really putting yourself in a lot of danger.”
This is a very gray area for the cannabis community. While it is cool and fun, it is a loophole which could get many people into legal trouble if the law cracks down on them. If you are considering ordering from a marijuana gifting company, be smart and do as much research as possible before making a purchase.
1.Alan Campbell Folks in Michigan celebrate legalization of recreational weed in big way. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from https://www.wxyz.com/news/folks-in-michigan-celebrate-legalization-of-recreational-weed-in-big-way
2. Michigan Proposal 1, Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2018). Retrieved December 13, 2018 from https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_Proposal_1,_Marijuana_Legalization_Initiative_(2018)
3.Vanessa Alvarez Woman faces charges for ‘gifting’ marijuana. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from http://gfarma.news/off-the-wall-news/woman-faces-charges-for-gifting-marijuana/
4.Kathleen Gray Virginia entrepreneur wants to start marijuana gifting business in Detroit. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from https://www.freep.com/story/news/marijuana/2018/12/13/entrepreneur-plans-marijuana-gifting-business-detroit/2282508002/
5.Christina Hager I-Team: Gray Market Emerges For ‘Gifting’ Marijuana. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from https://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/12/11/gifting-marijuana-gray-market-investigation/
6.Gillian Graham No sales, but marijuana ‘gifts’ exploit a legal limbo. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from https://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/09/no-sales-but-marijuana-gifts-exploit-a-legal-limbo/