10 September 2016

The Detroit News reported Thursday….


The package of bills would regulate and tax provisioning centers as well as the transportation of medical marijuana. It also would set up a tracking database and create new rules for where and how dispensaries could open.

“What we have now is totally out of control … caregivers are growing excessive amounts of marijuana … they’re smuggling it in their trunks … it’s totally illegal,” said Republican Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, who supported the package.

Jones and others said Thursday the bills would help make both communities and patients safer. They also would bring some regulation into what has been a relatively lawless state of affairs for medical marijuana patients, caregivers and dispensaries, both Republican and Democratic critics said.

Many patients, marijuana dispensaries and lawmakers have been unsure for years about what the law permitted because of its ambiguity. Others have lamented that “provisioning centers” operate near schools, churches and other areas where residents may not want them.

If the House gives final approval the version of the legislation that senators approved, Michigan will contend with a whole new regulatory structure. The bills were approved in a series of contentious votes that split Republicans but were passed with the help of Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said his GOP colleagues “got to a point where they understood that doing nothing was worse than regulating it.”

The state would impose a new 3 percent tax on “the gross retail income” of every provisioning center, the legislation said.

Marijuana dispensaries, growers, processors and transporters would have to get an annually renewed state license to operate. The legislative also would require dispensaries to get written approval from the city, township or village before they can set up shop. The municipality that approves the application in addition would sign off on the location of the provisioning center.

The overhaul would let municipalities limit the number of dispensaries and enact zoning ordinances to control where such businesses would open, addressing a concern about the shops popping where some people may not want them.

The definition of “medical use” and “usable marihuana” in state statute would be revised to include forms of the medicine that make use of extracts and plant resins, commonly called “edibles.”

New rules would establish maximum THC levels – the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana – for foods such as suckers, brownies, cookies or chocolates that contain marijuana or marijuana extract.

Another bill would require a state-run tracking system that collects information on sales, inventory and theft, from “seed to sale,” among other new regulations.

M.Live Provide the following detail

  • House Bill 4209 creates the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act to license and regulate the growth, processing, transport and provisioning of medical marijuana. It passed 25-12, and the no votes came from Republicans.
  • House Bill 4210 amends the voter-initiated Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to allow for the manufacture and use of marijuana-infused products by qualified patients. It passed 28-9.
  • House Bill 4827 creates the Marihuana Tracking Act and a seed-to-sale tracking system to track all medical marijuana.

The Senate also passed its own bills updating sentencing sentencing guidelines for selling marijuana in violation of registry identification card restrictions and exempting rules promulgated under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act from the Administrative Procedures Act.

The Michigan Cannabis Development Association praised the legislation’s passage in a statement Thursday.

“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,” said Willie Rochon, MCDA vice president and spokesperson.

The bills head next to the House. The House would have to OK Senate changes to its House Bill 4210 before sending its package to the governor, as well as take a first look at the bills that originated in the Senate.