Michigan has long allowed the use of medical marijuana. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008 made it legal to grow and use marijuana for debilitating medical conditions. Over 63% of Michigan residents voted for the bill, an impressive figure that is not seen in many other states when it comes to weed legalization. Despite this there are still ongoing concerns with regard to how much marijuana is allowed and in relation to growing and distribution procedures. The Act led to the creation of a state registry program known as the Michigan Medical weed Program (MMMP).
Medical Marijuana Purchase Limits
It is up to the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board to indicate the limits for marijuana patients in the state. This is the topic that is up for discussion at the next board hearing. The Board was formed in 2016 and is currently putting forward the license process for medical marijuana dispensaries. The Board is looking for input with regard to how much patients should be allowed to carry. In many ways it is quite a difficult subject with no definitive answers. The fact of the matter is that people respond differently to THC. Some people can have large amounts of THC and will appear sober, others can have small amounts and appear stoned. Some patients might need more to deal with certain conditions than others. And because of the way THC is metabolized in the body it is impossible to test for. Which leaves the board with a very tricky question, as there is no conclusive medical evidence to indicate the appropriate amounts. In some states, such as Florida, there are many complaints that the marijuana being dispensed is far too low. The medical industry specialists are saying that this is because they need to avoid litigation, as an overdose on marijuana can leave to litigation in a state where litigation is all too common. They are also stating that cannabis can interfere with other medications, however this has no basis in fact and the opposite is often the case, as studies have shown it negates the effects of harmful painkillers.
At their next meeting, the board intends to discuss a number of issues, including
- Licensing insurance requirements
- The limit on how much THC, a component of marijuana principally responsible for the ‘high’ feeling users can experience, should be allowed in marijuana-infused products.
- Licensing requirements for how much capital a person or company must have to operate a medical marijuana facility or business.
The bureau, through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, plans to release rules that will govern the implementation of the new law later this year. The board’s testimony so far has centered mostly around an idea to require current dispensaries to shut down to be considered for licenses under the act. The bureau and board recently decided that businesses who hadn’t shut down by Dec. 15 could face an impediment to licensure. This is somewhat draconian, as current dispensaries which have been effective at dispensing marijuana must now shut down and be reevaluated so that more money can be made by certain factions.
Many have stipulated that the process would be far easier if marijuana was considered in the same bracket as alcohol and tobacco in terms of how it is allowed to be produced, distributed and carried. There is no limit on how drunk somebody is, the question is how much damage they do. Thus, the responsibility is in the hands of the individual. This makes even more sense for marijuana, as it is not possible to say how people react to the substance, even less so than alcohol where levels can be measured in the blood.
Administrations are in a large sense over bureaucratizing the industry which is slowing it all down considerably. The main consideration, as usual, comes down to money and profit, as this is when administrators and politicians starting to perk up their ears, and nothing to do with the fact that marijuana saves lives. As many have complained, what does it matter how much money a company has in order to open a dispensary? It is antithetical to a free market economy and does not make any sense, apart from squeezing out startups.
Despite early legalization, there are still a number of questions in relation to marijuana in Michigan. Many voters are not happy with what is taking place. Lawmakers are currently in the process of debating several bills that would regulate medical marijuana in Michigan. They have been in committee and advocates were hopeful that things may finally move forward before the summer recess. But if this is progress, it is painfully slow. A legalization of recreational marijuana resolves so many problems, except that it would heavily cut into the profits of big business. The people of Michigan are currently uniting in order to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018. Many are disheartened that 10 years after legalizing medical marijuana the program is next to hopeless.
The MI Legalize Group is meeting stiff opposition from politicians, bureaucrats and big businesses who want to keep the industry secluded and in the hands of the few. Their last application to put recreational marijuana to a vote was questionably rejected by the Michigan’s Bureau of Elections on a technicality, and the group is taking legal action. This was due to the 180 day window rule, which allowed some of the signatures not to be counted, a rule which many are saying is archaic. If the voters do not get the signatures in 2018, the lawmakers could decide to act with the instigation of a bill, which could see an end to marijuana prohibition in the state.