Medical marijuana is advancing in Michigan. The state, which has already passed laws accepting medical marijuana, voted Thursday in favor of four new bills that could change the landscape of Michigan dispensaries, allowing actual communities to regulate how many – if any – places of purchases will be permissible in a specific town.
Although the Senate approval only barely made the vote for the bills — HB 4209-4210, 4827, SB 141 and SB 1014 — Michigan residents now have the power to allocate dispensaries in their communities and where they will be located. All the bills must return to the House for futher approval before being sent to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk, given that the House has no issues with the changes made to the bills, reported MLive.
The rules allow for a new system of licensing for growers, dispensaries, patients, caregivers and transporters, along with a new 3 percent tax on all dispensaries. Michiganders with medical marijuana cards will also soon have the opportunity to purchase non-smokable forms of marijuana including oils, salves, brownies and other edibles — or “medibles,” as they’re called in the industry.
Although some are completely against the new amendments — including Michigan Sen. Patrick Colbeck, who told the Detroit Free Press that the bills passing meant a “sad day for citizens of the state" and that "the endgame of this legislation with all of its societal ills is the full legalization of marijuana” — others are pleased with the state’s progression and are hopeful that the laws can lead to economic growth.
“The framework created by this landmark legislation will allow the medical marijuana industry in Michigan to spark small business development, promote job growth and generate much needed revenue for both the state and local communities,” Willie Rochon, Michigan Cannabis Development Association vice president and spokesperson, said to the Free Press.
Although the restructuring of medical marijuana’s dispensary framework is one step forward for cannalovers across the state, the chances of voting for legal recreational use of the plant this year are still pretty bleak. According to the Cannabist, both the state appeals court and Michigan Supreme Court recently turned down appeals of groups aiming to get recreational marijuana use on the November 2016 ballot.