Michigan governor signs bills allowing tribal-state marijuana pacts

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Michigan’s governor signed two bills into law that will allow Native American tribes and the state to form compacts to regulate and tax marijuana.

The legislation also permits tribal- and state-licensed operators to sell cannabis to one another.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 179 and SB 180 into law on Thursday, according to Michigan legislature records.

In addition to permitting cannabis agreements between the state and tribes, the bipartisan laws:

  • Will exempt marijuana sales by tribal operators on tribal lands from Michigan’s 10% excise tax.
  • Allow the transport of marijuana between tribal operators and state-licensed operators, while requiring the tribal businesses to pay the same taxes as regulated companies.
  • Allocate a portion of the Marihuana Regulation Fund to tribes for tribal cannabis operator sales.

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Bay Mills Indian Community have participated in the state’s adult-use cannabis market since 2021.

According to Crain’s Grand Rapids Business, Whitney Gravelle, president of the Bay Mills Indian Community, testified that the agreements “would finally allow tribally owned businesses access to the state recreational marijuana economy and access to the Marijuana Enforcement Tracking and Compliance system, both of which tribal nations have been unable to participate in since marijuana was first legalized in the state of Michigan.”