Regulatory bills now in Senate
Last update: November 4, 2015
Several important bills to expand patients’ access to medical cannabis preparations are now being considered in the Senate. Rep. Mike Callton’s HB 4209 would establish important protections for Michigan’s medical marijuana businesses and patients by setting up a regulated and licensed dispensary system. A second bill, HB 4210, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Lyons, would clearly allow extractions and the products made from them, such as edibles. A third related bill, Rep. Klint Kesto’s HB 4827, would require an electronic “seed to sale” tracking system for cannabis plants and cannabis products.
These bills are not perfect, but the vast majority of their provisions reflect similar regulatory systems in other medical marijuana states and provide important protections for businesses that do not exist today. We hope they can be further improved in the Senate prior to passage before the end of the year. Please take a moment to tell your senator to support these measures before time runs out in 2015.
A regulatory system is overdue. There are far too many cases in which those who provide critical services to help the state’s seriously ill patients are treated like criminals in Michigan.
Cannabis decriminalization and legalization
On September 18, Rep. Jeff Irwin introduced HB 4877, a bill that would end marijuana prohibition in Michigan and treat cannabis similarly to alcohol. This historic bill would provide protections for Michiganders and state visitors age 21 and over, license and regulate businesses, establish testing requirements for cannabis, and create many other provisions that are essential to laws currently in place in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska. Six representatives joined Rep. Irwin in support, including Reps. Singh, Robinson, Hovey-Wright, Chang, Hoadley, and Roberts. Click here to ask your representative to support this effort.
Two groups are currently gathering signatures for competing statewide legalization measures that would appear on the November 2016 ballot. Read more about the various efforts here.
This year, two more cities adopted decriminalization measures, bringing the total number to 20. Portage and Keego Harbor voted in favor of two local initiatives on November 3, 2015. Michiganians are sending the message loud and clear to state legislators — it’s time to improve state law and eliminate criminal penalties for personal possession! For a complete list of cities that have either lowered or removed criminal penalties for marijuana possession in Michigan, click here.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
Application forms, along with the full text of the law and accompanying regulations, can be found at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
Under the MMMA, patients can choose to either cultivate their own medical marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility or to designate a caregiver to do so for them. Caregivers can assist no more than five patients. Also, note that in late 2012, the legislature passed several bills that changed the way the program works. Here’s a helpful summary of those new laws.