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Changes Likely Before Governor Snyder Will Approve Medical Marijuana Bills

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Gov. Snyder close to supporting medical marijuana dispensaries, edibles

It looks like Gov. Rick Snyder could be close to supporting bills that would relax restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan.

Supporters of House Bills 4271 and 5104 say they are now turning their attention to winning the governor's support. The first bill would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan in communities that OK them. The second would let patients use edible and other non-smokable forms of cannabis.

But advocates and lawmakers working on the legislation say the governor's office wants some changes before he will commit to signing the bills. As it is written now, the legislation would leave it mostly up to local governments to regulate dispensaries. But it appears Snyder wants the state to play a bigger role.

"There was some concern that this could be very patchwork, where some municipalities just aren't even regulating them and some could be hyper-regulating them," " said state Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, who introduced the dispensaries bill. "And the suggestion was that really, to do a good job, it should be regulated at a statewide level."

And Callton says he agrees.

"Not everyone will like it. But I think it makes it overall a better bill and will make medical marijuana better, as far as availability to patients, that it be more professional, safer," he said.

"I think we're getting so close for such a controversial bill. I think we're getting so close."

The bills still need to clear the state Senate. Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, says he's now a "real believer" in the benefits of medical marijuana, and hopes to hold a vote before the November election.

Gov. Snyder's office declined to comment on the legislation while discussions are still going on.

Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer came out in support of the bills this week.