Michigan legalizes medical marijuana

01-19-2017 Posted in Marijuana, Substance Abuse, Treatment

New medical marijuana laws went into effect across Michigan in mid-December 2016. These laws centered around developing a new structure and set of business regulations pertaining to medical marijuana. While these laws will be effective somewhere in March 2017, the state will start accepting applications for state operating licenses from Dec. 15, 2017.

Under the 2008 voter-approved law, more than 211,000 qualifying patients either grow their own marijuana plants or obtain the drug from the 37,000 registered caregivers under the state laws. The new law is set to impose a new tax on marijuana dispensary shops, create a new category of marijuana-infused products, establish a state licensing system to grow, process, sell, transport, or test marijuana, and establish a monitoring system to track marijuana from seed to sale.

The change that is likely to get the most attention is the legalization of retail dispensaries. As per former state representative Michael Callton, post implementation of the new laws, the patients will have a safe place to go and buy their medications. The law will also help clean up the illegal marijuana industry.

According to Matthew Abel, lawyer and the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the policy was designed while keeping business interests in mind and is not in favor of marijuana. It is about creating a proper system rather than keeping it more open.

While the changes will allow cannabis-infused edible products and more potent cannabis extracts in the market and create licenses for commercial pot growers, processors, transporters, testing facilities, and retail dispensaries, it will help the state and local governments to collect licensing fee and three percent tax on dispensary sales. The suggested three percent tax and other fees generated will go into a state excise fund from where it will be allocated to local government units and law enforcement agencies.

Though the new law creates a bigger commercial system, it will be strictly controlled. According to some medical marijuana advocates, while a cardholder could still grow up to 12 plants for personal use or seek cannabis from a caregiver, who can grow a maximum of 72 plants, the new regulatory layer will add to the financial burden on the patients. Though legalization of retail dispensaries will allow greater access to legal pot, it will also put the state closer to the next big step of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Training for new medical marijuana law

The Michigan State University (MSU) is offering MSU Extension workshops throughout the state relating to the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act or MMFLA (The Michigan Municipal League spells marijuana with an ‘h’ to differentiate it from medical marijuana and because it is spelt so in their federal and state laws) and related laws. The training will provide an understanding of all the relevant changes in the act and the various options related to prohibiting or accepting marijuana growing operations and dispensaries.

These trainings are scheduled to be held throughout February and March 2017 at 11 locations. Held in the evening from 1800 to 2100 hours, the cost for these trainings would be between $50 and $55. Registration for these workshops will end on Feb. 13, 2017.

Road to recovery

Though marijuana usage has many health benefits, when unchecked, it can lead to psychological dependence and may develop into an addiction. If you know someone who is fighting an addiction to marijuana or related substance, it’s time to seek professional treatment. Contact the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline to begin your path to sobriety. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online with our experts to know about the top inpatient drug abuse treatment centers and outpatient drug abuse treatment centers in the U.S.