Three marijuana-related bills in Michigan leaped initial hurdles this morning, passing out of the House Judiciary committee. The first would allow for medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the state again legally and the other makes legal marijuana-infused products including edibles and tinctures.
A third measure passed allowing pharmacies to sell and produce “pharmaceutical grade” cannabis that is if the FDA ever allows such a thing to happen. All three measures move on to the full House for consideration.
Only one – the pharmacy bill, Senate Bill 660 – will likely be considered before the legislature adjourns Thursday for the holidays. That bill has already been approved by the state Senate. While a big move in theory and certainly something to watch for in the future, the bill doesn’t do anything currently as it relies on the federal government to reclassify cannabis from a Schedule 1 substance – something they’ve ignored doing for 40 years. Many see it as a preemptive strike by pharmaceutical companies if and when the feds do make such a decision.
The medical marijuana dispensary bill, House Bill 4271, has seen large support as well. The measure would create “provisioning centers” and leave the decision of whether or not to allow the pot shops up to each individual municipality. The centers would not be able to cultivate cannabis, and instead would get their supply from registered caregivers and patients. All cannabis would have to be tested before it could be sold.MMJ centers had existed in Michigan for the last few years until this past February when a state Supreme Court ruling shut them down.
The infused-products bill, House Bill 5104, is actually a much-needed fix to existing laws highlighted in July when a bumbleheaded and clueless Michigan Court of Appeals decision rendered pot brownies and other non-smokable means of medication illegal. HB 5104 would update the law to say that dried leaves and extracts can also be eaten by patients.