medical marijuana

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

Michigan plans to allow medical marijuana patients and their doctors to complete registrations online.

The Detroit News reports the change is scheduled to start by Oct. 8. Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation , said it's likely to make the registration and renewal process easier and quicker for many medical marijuana patients and doctors who have so far relied on paper forms. B

risbo says that the bureau will maintain its paper process for those who prefer it.

Michigan officials have shuttered 40 medical marijuana businesses across the state.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs started the process Thursday of closing down facilities that are operating illegally and haven't submitted applications for a license.

The state is processing the first applications for medical marijuana licenses. More than a hundred background checks are already underway. Another 400 or so businesses are in different stages of applying. Most are waiting on local approval before moving ahead with the state process.

David Harns is with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. He says the new directive from the US Justice Department that clears the way for federal prosecutors to enforce marijuana laws will not affect the state’s licensing program.

Medical marijuana shop in Denver.
O'dea via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Marijuana in Michigan is poised to be a big story for 2018. But what its legalization means to different communities is a complex question. 

Let’s start with the legal story. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed back in 2008. But who could sell, grow, or transport, it was not clearly outlined. Bob Hendricks is a legal expert with Wrigley, Hoffman and Hendricks, a firm with an established medical marijuana business practice. Hendricks says after the act passed, dispensaries started popping up everywhere.

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The FBI says a restaurant owner was willing to pay bribes to suburban Detroit officials to try to get them to allow a medical marijuana dispensary. The disclosure was made in a document filed Tuesday in federal court. The government wants to keep $15,000 that was voluntarily turned over to agents by an unnamed Garden City official. No charges have been filed. 

The FBI says the restaurant owner told the Garden City official that he would pay $150,000 if he could get a permit for a medical marijuana dispensary. The official said the man would need approval from the city council.

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder has just a few bills from last session left to consider. Among them is a bill that would allow landlords to include a provision in their leases preventing tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana.

Bill sponsor Republican Senator Rick Jones said the legislation protects fellow tenants and landlords from smoke and damage to buildings. “No one needs to use medical marijuana in a smoking form,” he said. “If they have a prescription, they can use it in many other ways – edibles, creams, oils, and even vaporizers.”

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

The Michigan appeals court says the state's medical marijuana law protects people who are accused of illegally transporting pot. In a 2-1 decision, the court threw out the misdemeanor conviction of a man in Clinton County, north of Lansing.

Callen Latz is a registered medical marijuana user. But he was charged in 2014 with violating a law that requires pot to be stored in a case in the trunk of a vehicle or in a spot that's not easily accessible.

The marijuana transportation law was signed in 2012, four years after voters approved medical marijuana for certain illnesses.

A state audit says one physician in Lansing was able to certify more than 11,800 Michigan medical marijuana patients in one year. The audit released Thursday criticized the state's medical marijuana program for not verifying doctor certifications to combat potential fraud.

Auditors found 22 other physicians who certified nearly 47,000 applicants, an average of eight per work day. The state says it began randomly auditing doctor certifications in late September.

File photo of Gov. Rick Snyder speaking in Grand Rapids in 2016.
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

Governor Rick Snyder says he hasn’t decided whether to sign new medical marijuana regulations that were adopted this week by the Legislature, but he strongly favors the concept.

The bills would allow dispensaries, but require them to be licensed and pay sales and excise taxes.

Local governments could set rules on where dispensaries can locate, and their hours of operation.

The sale of lotions, oils, drinks, and foods laced with marijuana and marijuana extracts would be allowed. And the state would set up a seeds-to-sale tracking system.

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

The Michigan House gave final approval to bills Wednesday that would further regulate medical marijuana nearly eight years after its use was first authorized by voters.

The main legislation, which passed 83-22, would impose a new tax and establish a state licensing system to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana.

Non-smokable forms of the drug such as food and lotions would become legal under a bill that was approved 93-12, surpassing the constitutionally required three-fourths needed to amend a voter initiative.

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