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Michigan Will Not Allow Young Adults to Work in Cannabis

Michigan Will Not Allow Young Adults to Work in Cannabis
Photo by Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

Economics

Michigan Will Not Allow Young Adults to Work in Cannabis

In order to grow or sell recreational cannabis in Michigan employees must be 21 or older.

Marijuana laws can be tricky. Most of these statutes have strict possession limits and an offense can lead to legal struggles up to and including jail. The language of these laws might also allow some pot consumers to grow two plants, four plants, zero plants, and some, admittedly the strictest of the batch, won’t even allow adults access to products they can smoke. It seems that everyone has their own idea of what marijuana legalization should look like.  Law enforcement and legislators seem to believe if these laws are not obeyed to the letter, well, society, as a whole, is doomed to rot in a cesspool of its own THC-induced squalor in the days to come.

Perhaps one of the strangest marijuana laws that we’ve picked up on in a while is in Michigan. Get this, while it is perfectly acceptable for adults 18 and over to sling alcoholic beverages at any given restaurant chain, those same people are not allowed to hold jobs in the up and coming cannabis industry. At least not if the position is associated with “recreational” reefer.

Anyone who wants to grow or sell weed in Michigan for the pot partiers of the state must wait until they are at least 21 years old before that is possible. However, the same restriction does not apply if their green thumb interests are in the medicinal sector. People with dreams of cultivating the herb exclusively for the sick and dying have the freedom to do so. Just as long as regulators don’t catch them near the recreational stuff.

You see, when Michigan voters headed to the polls a couple of years back to approve the recreational marijuana initiative, many failed to recognize, or maybe they just didn’t give two-flying bucks, that the document came with age restrictions. “No marihuana establishment may allow a person under 21 years of age to volunteer or work for the marihuana establishment,” the ballot measure read. This means if you just graduated high school and were hoping to skip all of that college business to get in on the ground floor of the Michigan marijuana scene, you’re going to have to wait a few years. (Might we suggest putting your application in down at the neighborhood Chilis? It seems to be a favorite Michigan hangout, and learning how to sell top-shelf margs, man, that’s a solid trade.)

Some members of the cannabis industry believe the law, as it is written, is just about as idiotic as it gets. The state has allowed people under the age of 21 to work in the medical marijuana sector for years. But now that the plant is set to be grown for the purpose of getting Michiganders red-eyed and ripped, younger adults are forbidden from working in this environment.

“You can serve alcohol at 18 and go to war at 18,” Jerry Millen, owner of the GreenHouse medical marijuana dispensary, told the Detroit Free Press. “Why are they treating marijuana like some sort of nuclear material?”

Well, weed IS the bomb.

Nevertheless, the problem here is a lot of medical marijuana companies are also interested in participating in the recreational sector. This crossover between therapy and good times is happening in nearly every state that eventually makes the transition to adult use. But any employees these places have on the payroll that are not 21 – and there are plenty – will now be forced to work strictly with medicinal plants. These businesses might have to divide their cultivation centers into two separate entities — medicinal and recreational — and assign work duties according to age.

It’s not a huge hiccup, some say, but it is just one of those annoying fine-print-details that the industry must endure.

Michigan also prevents anyone under 21 from growing weed at home. Incidentally, as with all of the pot laws passed so far in the United States, this is also the legal age for anyone wishing to buy pot from a retail outlet. But considering that the law allows residents 21 and over to grow up to 12 plants (twelve… T-W-E-L-V-E) for personal use, we seriously doubt that anyone in Michigan who wants to be high will have any trouble finding a friend to hook them up. We are even going out on a limb to say that so much weed is going to be produced soon in Michigan that you can bet your butt that all of the youngsters slaving it out at the Chilis will be stoned.

Think about that in the coming months when you order cheese fries at a restaurant and the server thinks you are saying, “We’s high.” Just don’t be surprised when he or she responds with something like, “Me too.” Also, don’t be shocked if when you do finally receive your order, it is a few fries light.

TELL US, if people can serve alcohol and go to war at 18 years old do you think they should able to work in the legal cannabis industry?

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