Marijuana Dispensary in Michigan. New state laws take effect Tuesday that will regulate Michigan’s medical marijuana industry.
The three laws taking effect will legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, regulate growing and processing facilities and extend legal protections to registered patients who prefer to use non-smokable forms of the drug, including edibles and oils.
It’s the first major update to Michigan’s medical marijuana laws since voters approved legalizing pot for medicinal purposes in 2008.
n 2008, 63% of voters approved a medical marijuana measure spearheaded by MPP. Like other medical marijuana laws that passed prior to Pres. Barack Obama’s election (which led to the federal government adopting a hands-off approach on well regulated medical marijuana programs), Michigan’s original law provided clear protections for patients and caregivers, but did not establish regulations for the businesses that made medical marijuana available to them.
As the population of patients in Michigan grew from thousands, to tens of thousands, to over 200,000, the business community serving them also grew. Unfortunately, Michigan’s lack of regulations led to years of harm.
Earlier this year, lawmakers passed three bills that together overhaul the state’s medical marijuana program. While an improvement in many ways, it is not without its controversies, particularly for those businesses that have been operating since voters approved MPP’s medical marijuana initiative in 2008.
With the passage of the new regulatory system, changes are ahead, particularly for those cultivating or providing medical marijuana. While much of the framework created by the new law is similar to that of other states, it represents big change for Michigan’s program, which has been evolving since 2008.
The state will impose a new 3 percent tax on “the gross retail income” of every provisioning center, the legislation said.
Marijuana dispensaries, growers, processors and transporters would have to get an annually renewed state license to operate. The legislative also would require dispensaries to get written approval from the city, township or village before they can set up shop. The municipality that approves the application in addition would sign off on the location of the provisioning center.
The overhaul would let municipalities limit the number of dispensaries and enact zoning ordinances to control where such businesses would open, addressing a concern about the shops popping where some people may not want them.
New rules would establish maximum THC levels – the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana – for foods such as suckers, brownies, cookies or chocolates that contain marijuana or marijuana extract.
Another bill would require a state-run tracking system that collects information on sales, inventory and theft, from “seed to sale,” among other new regulations that effect a marijuana dispensary in Michigan.
While the new law is now technically in effect, it will take about a year before changes will be in effect. So, now is the time to plan opening a Marijuana dispensary in Michigan. During this time, state regulators will consider, propose, and ultimately adopt the rules under which the new system will operate.
For more information on opening a cannabis business in Michigan, contact Denver Consulting Group.
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