Governor Rick Snyder signed a seriesof laws last month to regulate the state’s MMJ program, making cannabis concentrates and medical marijuana dispensaries legal for the first time in the state’s history.
Though legal medical marijuana has technically existed in Michigan since 2008, no one was sure what was legal and what wasn’t. Until recently, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was deeply flawed, giving patients the legal right to possess marijuana but no legal place to procure it, and no legal protection for providing, possessing or using marijuana extracts either, as reported by the Oakland Express.
Here’s a rundown of the new laws:
House Bill 4210 – Concentrates
Less than a month ago, any form of cannabis, other than the flower itself, was banned for recreational and medical use alike. 4210 (a coincidental numerical combination of 420 and 710?) makes smokable extracts as well as edibles and topical oils legit in Michigan for the first time.
House Bill 4209 – Dispensaries
For eight years, Michigan has had legal medical pot but no licensed dispensaries, making for a bit of a one legged MMJ program. Now the state’s roughly 210,000 qualified patients can find medical cannabis and cannabis products at licensed collectives. The five new licenses established by the bill are for a growers license, transporters license, testing license, processor license, and provisioning center license.
House Bill 4827 – Regulation and oversight
This law puts into motion the state’s ability to track the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana.
Criticisms of the bills
Some have both expressed concerns over the new regulations. State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton told WZZM 13 that the passing of the laws was the beginning of a slippery slope. “The endgame of this legislation with all of its societal ills is the full legalization of marijuana in our state,” he said. “This isn’t the legacy that I want to leave for the citizens of Michigan.”
For those who have made due in the old system, these new regulations will mean they have to adapt quickly. John Thompson, a caregiver since 2008 with five patients had advice for those in the medical marijuana system who had been doing things their own way for years. “I would tell caregivers to let their local police office know that they’re growing and that they’re legal,” he told the Oakland Express. “You don’t want any trouble.”
Photo via Wikimedia Commons