Sad news for Michigan’s medical marijuana patients and providers: “dispensaries” are no longer allowed by law. Medical marijuana itself is still legal, however, but they’ll have to start calling them by another name.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) released a notice on Monday, barring the use of 16 specific words which medical cannabis facilities can no longer use, among them “dispensary,” as reported by WBCK. The full list of no-no MMJ words are as follows:

  • pharmacy
  • pharmacist
  • Pharm.D
  • doctor of pharmacy
  • pharmacy intern
  • pharmacy technician
  • licensed pharmacy technician
  • certified pharmacy technician
  • CPhT
  • apothecary
  • dispensary
  • drugstore
  • druggist
  • medicine store
  • prescriptions
  • r.ph.

Barring many of these words makes a kind of sense, given that medical cannabis facilities are not generally run by medical professionals and it is arguably not in the public’s best interest to be led to believe they’re buying FDA-regulated medicine.

However, the inclusion of some words on the list arguably defy common sense. “Dispensary,” for one, has become shorthand for “medical marijuana provider” in Michigan and much of the rest of the country, so suddenly outlawing the term is more likely to cause confusion than clarity.

LARA’s advisory bulletin says that the term “provisioning center” is just fine when it comes to MMJ establishments. The bulletin, however, gets oddly specific in the wording of this new regulation. As reported by High Times, the advisory reads in part:

“… the term ‘provisioning center’ includes any commercial property where marihuana [emphasis ours] is sold at retail to registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers.”

That spelling of the word “marijuana” with an “h” is apparently par for the course in Michigan, where it is used in all cannabis-related government documents, according to the Detroit Free Press. It is also used in many a federal cannabis regulation, including the STATES Act bill introduced last week which could potentially decriminalize cannabis at the federal level in states which already legalized it.

Maybe there’s a silver lining to the cloud, though. At least now you can pretend you’re in olden times when you’re in Michigan and you go to your local “provisioning center” to acquire your “marihuana.”

Photo via Flickr user Kate Ter Haar

Dabs Mag Staff
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