Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 6, 2020

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Possession of marijuana is illegal in Michigan unless you have a debilitating medical condition. However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, regardless of medical need. Thus, even if the state of Michigan does not arrest, prosecute, or convict individuals for possessing medicinal marijuana, the federal legal system still has the authority to do so. Michigan statutes use the spellings “marijuana” and “marihuana” interchangeably.

What are the Penalties for the Possession of Marijuana in Michigan?

If you are arrested for possession of marijuana in Michigan, and do not have a debilitating medical condition, the penalties you face will depend on your intent in possessing the marijuana. Marijuana penalties in the state of Michigan can include incarceration and fines. Under Michigan law, possession of even the smallest amount of marijuana can result in substantial jail time. Individuals charged with growing marijuana, possessing large amounts, or intending to sell marijuana face even steeper penalties.

It does not take being caught in the act of selling to be charged with attempted distribution of marijuana. Just possessing a large amount of marijuana and affiliated paraphernalia such as measuring equipment or baggies can be enough evidence to support a charge of attempted distribution. The Michigan Marijuana Penalties Table below highlights the different levels of penalties for acts related to the illegal possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana under Michigan law. Of note, and not covered in the table, is that synthetic marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol) is also illegal under Michigan law. There are also separate penalties for marijuana possession under federal law. Specific penalties in your case will vary depending on your particular circumstances. (Michigan Public Health Code Section 333.74)

Consult an experienced Michigan marijuana lawyer or Michigan criminal attorney to find out more.

Michigan Marijuana Penalties Table



Incarceration (max)

Fine (max)




90 days





1 year




1 year


Sale* or Cultivation

Under 5 kg or 20 plants

2 years



5 kg up to 45 kg or 20 plants up to 200 plants

4 years


At least 45 kg or 200 plants

15 years

$10 million

*Maximum penalties are doubled within 1,000 feet of a school or library.

Follow this link for more information about Michigan Marijuana Laws and Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws