New laws expand medical marijuana industry – if cities allow it

Capital News Service
LANSING — Depending on who’s talking, Michigan’s new medical marijuana laws could streamline marijuana operations into a lucrative source of local revenue, or allow for an unnecessary expansion of the medical marijuana industry in the state. Still another group says the laws overlook confusion about dispensaries’ legality, which has led to police raids and facilities going out of business. The new legislation — which was signed into law in December 2016 and takes effect in December 2017 — creates three classes of medical marijuana growers, allows dispensaries to apply for licenses according to the new three-tiered class system, creates a statewide tracking system for commercial marijuana and sets a state tax on dispensaries. One thing that will stay the same, much to the dismay of many medical marijuana providers, or “caregivers” – is a provision left over from the 2008 “Medical Marihuana Act” allowing communities to decide whether to allow medical marijuana facilities to operate in their area, and on what terms. That means cities and townships can still pass ordinances banning medical marijuana facilities in their area, even if facilities were already in existence. “The real power is in the local units of government,” said Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson.

New tax, regulations proposed for medical marijuana

Capital News Service
LANSING – Medical marijuana patients might have a bit harder time paying for their pot if tax legislation that recently passed the House becomes law. Current medical marijuana regulations don’t include any tax on the drug, but that could change under a three-bill package that passed the House in a landslide vote. One sponsor, Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, also a chiropractor, said the legislation is an important move for Michigan as the possibility of legalization looms.

“We need to address this before it addresses us,” Callton said. “What happens in some places that legalize is you have no laws, no regulatory structure. It was really hard for them to get Pandora back in the box.