There will be new rules soon in Michigan governing how medical marijuana is grown, shared, and sold.
Governor Rick Snyder has signed bills sent to his desk that add certainty to the medical marijuana law adopted by voters in 2008. The new regulations will require dispensaries to be licensed and pay taxes. They also allow the sale of foods, drinks, and lotions that are laced with marijuana or THC.
Snyder says the new rules will help clear up a lot of confusion in the voter-initiated law and ensure people who use medical marijuana can be confident that it’s safe to use.
"This new law will help Michiganders of all ages and with varying medical conditions access safe products to relieve their suffering,” Snyder said in a statement released by his office. “We can finally implement a solid framework that gives patients a safe source from which to purchase and utilize medical marijuana.”
The bills took years to negotiate as medical marijuana dispensaries mushroomed in some communities despite the legal uncertainty over their operations. The new law will allow local governments to decide where dispensaries can locate, their hours of operation, and require inspections of facilities. Sales and excise taxes would pay the costs of enforcing the new law.
“This is a watershed moment in the years-long endeavor to create a framework to license and regulate the medical marijuana industry in the state and expand access to non-smokable forms of medical marijuana for patients,” said Willie Rochon, vice president of the Michigan Cannabis Development Assocation. “On behalf of the state’s medical marijuana business community and the over 200,000 medical marijuana patients in Michigan, we want to thank the governor and the Legislature for their support in making this landmark proposal a reality.”
Some sheriffs and police chiefs urged Snyder to veto the bills because it would convicted felons to operate dispensaries.