Medical marijuana regulatory bills still on hold
Last update: June 14, 2016
Michigan lawmakers continue to discuss several bills that would impose a regulatory system for medical marijuana. Recent signs suggested the bills might advance out of committee in the Senate, but it stalled again before legislators broke for the summer. Rep. Mike Callton’s HB 4209 would establish much-needed protections for Michigan’s medical marijuana businesses. HB 4210 would clearly allow extractions and the products made from them, such as edibles. A third related bill, HB 4827, would require an electronic “seed to sale” tracking system for cannabis plants and cannabis products.
Meanwhile, MILegalize continues its efforts to place a legalization measure for adults 21 and over before voters in November. Over 350,000 signatures were turned in on June 1, but the state officials and the initiative campaign disagree over how signatures should be counted, with officials claiming the number fell short of the minimum required. The matter will likely be resolved in court.
Lawmakers themselves could also consider a legalization measure. In the fall of 2015, Rep. Jeff Irwin introduced HB 4877 in the House, and you can support his effort by clicking here. This year, Sen. Coleman Young II introduced a separate bill in the Senate, SB 813. Both of these bills would end marijuana prohibition in the state, not only stopping the harsh penalties for adults who choose a substance that is safer than alcohol, but also helping reduce the illicit marijuana trade and bringing much needed revenue — estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars — to state coffers.
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. While state law prohibits dispensaries from operating, many communities, including Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Jackson. Detroit enacted regulations in February 2016 that limit the total number and impose various restrictions on dispensaries, while still allowing them to operate in the city. Here’s a helpful summary of those new laws.