Michigan’s medicinal cannabis industry will be further regulated rafter the Michigan House green-lighted several related bills that have taken 11 months to pass.
House Bill No. 4209 contains a swathe of changes; including laws on licensing and regulating marijuana growers, taxes and protections from prosecution for related offenses by persons engaging in activities that comply with the Act.
Another bill relates to legalising the use of non-smokeable forms of marijuana, including oils and edibles.
A report earlier this year stated tightening up Michigan’s medical cannabis laws and introduction of taxes could result in the state reaping in millions of dollars.
Michigan has been called by some the “wild west” in relation to medical cannabis. Registered patients and caregivers are permitted to grow up to 12 plants and while the state has no licensed medical dispensaries as such, a large number of premises are selling products.
Establishments been raided and closed in some counties up until now, but in others authorities have been turning a blind eye to the operations. These are issues the recently approved bills will seek to resolve.
In Michigan, licensed dispensaries will be called “provisioning centers” and the new laws will provide a high degree of consistency – growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers and testing facilities would all be licensed by the state.
House Bill No. 4209 will also establish testing standards, procedures and requirements for marijuana sold through provisioning centers. It will also establish daily purchasing limits and maximum tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels for marijuana infused products; plus a raft of other measures.
Reactions have been mixed – not everyone is happy with the changes. Some fear they will increase the cost of medicines and carrying out a cannabis related business.
The bills will now go to Governor Rick Snyder for signing, who is apparently overall supportive of the policies. The laws will take effect 90 days after signing, but state operating licenses will take close to a year before becoming available.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) administers the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act as approved by the state’s voters on November 4, 2008. Approximately 210,000 patients are registered with the program along with tens of thousands of caregivers.