New Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws Take Effect

Medicinal marijuana - Michigan
Image: Mullaways - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A slew of changes to medicinal cannabis legislation in the U.S. state of Michigan now in effect will provide access to a greater range of cannabis medicines.

As we mentioned back in September after the related bills passed the Michigan House, while the new rules will offer patients more choices, they will also add extra controls, regulatory and financial burden – issues that some are not particularly happy with.

Bills 4209, 4827 and 4210 (now PA 281-283 of 2016) empower local governments to control the location and number of medical marijuana dispensaries (called “provisioning centers” in Michigan) and legislates a “seed-to-sale” tracking system; with view to ensuring product safety in terms of human consumption. Taxes will also be imposed on dispensaries.

“We can finally implement a solid framework that gives patients a safe source from which to purchase and utilize medical marijuana,” said Governor Rick Snyder when signing the bills into law in September this year.

The very good news for patients is they will now be able to access marijuana infused products such as such as lotions, tinctures and edibles – which will be particularly attractive to those who prefer not to smoke plant material.

The new rules are the biggest set of changes since the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was approved by the state’s voters on November 4, 2008.

Further information on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) can be viewed here.

In other related news from the state, NORML’s Michigan chapter was among the many that have signed an open letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence seeking “clarity and common sense” from the incoming Trump administration concerning marijuana policy; both in relation to medicinal and recreational use.

While Mr. Trump has said previously he believes states should set their own medical marijuana laws if they wish to, his recent nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as the country’s next Attorney General is making cannabis supporters nervous.

“As a Michigan resident, I know that Mr. Trump would not have won my state had he campaigned on the continued criminalization of responsible marijuana users,” said Brad Forrester, Communications Director of Michigan NORML.

“As the transition Chairman and soon to be Vice President, Mr. Pence has an enormous responsibility to his voters and the American people to support federal policy that respects adults to make their own decisions.”