Michigan medical marijuana patients are closer to having legal pot dispensaries again after the state House approved a measure expressly allowing the retail centers to operate. Dispensaries were flourishing in Michigan up until February of this year when a state Supreme Court decided that they were public nuisances.
The House also approve measures legalizing edible forms of cannabis in response to another ruling that said medical marijuana was only legal if it was smoked.
House Bill 4271, introduced by Republican Rep. Mike Calton but supported by a broad , bi-partisan group of lawmakers, moves on to the state Senate with a 95-14 approval from the House.
As it is currently written, dispensaries would be allowed to operate but not allowed to grow their own herb or allow for on-site consumption. Instead, cannabis would come from Michigan patients and caregivers who would be allowed to sell their extra crops to the shops. All herb would have to be tested before it could be sold to patients.
Calton said the bill strikes a balance between what he sees as the grow-your-own intent of the bill and the need for patients to seek out more immediate avenues of accessing medical cannabis.
“If you get your recommendation from a doctor, instead of waiting four to six months for someone to grow plants for you — and you may be dead by then — you’ll be able to go right away to a provisioning center and get the medicine you need,” Callton told MLive.com this week.
The marijuana edibles bill, HB 5104, saw even greater support in the House and passed on a 100-9 vote. The bill’s sponsor says the bill is common-sense legislation meant to clear up a problem that should never have existed in the first place and “provides much needed legal clarity that patients need and deserve.”
Earlier in the week there was skepticism over whether or not the bills would make it through before the legislature adjourned for the holidays yesterday evening.