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growing marijuana outdoors michigan

A bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, at the end of November would prohibit homegrown marijuana.

“If it says consuming, I think consuming includes smoking, smoking does not include consuming,” said attorney Sarissa Montague, of the Kalamazoo firm Levine & Levine.

2. You won’t be able to grow legally if Arlan Meekhof gets his way

What about vaping?

4. Can your landlord stop you from growing or smoking marijuana?

“There’s a lot more to it than people think,” Dupree said.

Growing marijuana outdoors michigan

There is another, often overlooked, option that allows for much less expensive build out, equipment and maintenance costs—outdoor growing. Growing cannabis outdoors in Michigan eliminates the need for a lot of costly equipment, eliminates the need to pay six or even seven figure annual utility bills, and eliminates the need for purchasing buildings at $100+ SF. It can also produce much higher yields, which means less time and effort and more bang for your buck.


Building an indoor cannabis facility is not cheap. In my experience as a cannabis attorney, Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”) and Michigan Regulationa and Taxation of Marihuana Act (“MRTMA”) growers will spend anywhere between $100 to $200 per square foot on their interior buildout and equipment. And if you are an MMFLA licensed or MRTMA licensed grower, you will likely have to pay quite the premium just to purchase the underlying cannabis property.

The Market for Michigan Outdoor Cannabis

Other indoor marijuana grow facilities can take up to a year or even longer to fully build out. Depending on the state of the building, indoor growers may need to install a new roof, upgrade the building’s electrical system, install brand new HVAC and fire suppression systems, and more. Retrofitting a building for cannabis use can be both expensive and time consuming.

There are a growing number of opportunities for commercial growers under the MMFLA and MRTMA to have outdoor grow facilities in Michigan. The advantage of outdoor cannabis facilities is that they don’t cost much to start up compared to indoor grows and they primarily feed the fastest growing cannabis sub-market—the market for processed marijuana goods such as edibles and extracts. In addition, while very labor intensive, the overall operational costs are less than growing an equivalent amount of indoor plants due to the significant energy savings. Put another way, sunlight is free, while HPS and LED lights can cost quite a bit in terms of energy costs.

Due to the high price per square foot of MMLFA and MRTMA grow facilities in Michigan—where $100 SF is not uncommon for a decent green-zoned building in the Metro Detroit area, some Michigan growers have decided to seek out an alternative that is both significantly less costly and quicker to market. For some, this means a greenhouse, where lower end models can be built for as little as $40 / SF, though even these involve significant build out, equipment and utility costs. Not to mention, the quality of greenhouse grown medical marijuana is generally not seen as up to par with other indoor growing, making it harder to sell directly to MMFLA provisioning centers and MRTMA retailers.

So where and how can I grow outdoors in Michigan?

The disadvantages are that they are often only allowed in out-of-the-way places and there is not much direct consumer demand for outdoor cannabis. In California, some cannabis companies have been able to sell outdoor grown cannabis direct to the consumer as prerolls, but California’s weather is also much more conducive to outdoor cannabis cultivation than Michigan’s weather. Outdoor commercial growers in Michigan are therefore mostly limited to selling their product to a licensed processor, or to processing the products themselves in order to create their own cartridges, oils, and edibles.

This is because the MMMA is a broadly applicable state law that preempts any local ordinance in conflict with it, while both the MMFLA and MRTMA leave it up to each local unit of government to decide what type of facilities to allow, how many of each type of facility to allow, and what additional requirements each municipal applicant must meet. The MMFLA and MRTMA gives broad authority to each locality, except that a local government cannot enact regulations on the price or purity of marijuana or otherwise contradict the state law.

DETROIT – As of Dec. 6, 2018 it is legal to grow your own marijuana in the state of Michigan.

But how much can you grow and where can you grow it?

Legal adults in Michigan are allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants inside their residence. That’s according to the proposal language that was approved.

Michigan is first in Midwest

According to the new law, individuals are not allowed to grow marijuana: