MI Senate Approves Dispensary Regulations, Edibles + Medical Marijuana Tax
Just eight short years after medical marijuana was approved by Michigan voters, our state government is catching up by attempting to close loopholes and color in some of the many gray areas that has previously made the program such a legally confusing mess.
The Michigan Senate approved five medical marijuana bills yesterday (9/8/16), which will move them on to the House for their approval next. The bills actually aim to solve some of the long-standing problems left unclear under the current letter of Michigan's medical marijuana law. Given the Michigan government's recent tendency to pull out all the stops to kill legalization efforts -- this move, which will bolster the medical marijuana industry, comes as quite a surprise.
Here's a rundown of what the Michigan Senate approved:
HB4209 (LOL -- 420, bros!) is meant to clear up the current gray area that dispensaries are forced to operate in, by allowing them to be licensed to operate in their community for a $5,000 maximum licensing fee. The bill also adds immunity from prosecution for those following the law, and adds a 3% tax on the gross income of each licensed dispensary. Finally, a new three-tiered class level for will be created for growers, allowing Class A licensees 1-500 plants, Class B 500-1000 plants, and Class C 1000-1500 plants.
HB4210 allows for the use of non-smoke-able forms of marijuana, like oils and edibles.
HB4827 follows Colorado's lead, by creating a "seed to sale" monitoring system.
SB141 creates standard penalties for those selling in violation of the new regulations, which include prison sentences of up to two years.
SB1014 puts medical marijuana under the authority of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
While celebration would be premature at this point -- the bills still have to make it past the House, and Rick Snyder's desk -- it's still nice to know that not everyone in Michigan's government is actively fighting against the will of their constituents, like they did with the marijuana legalization and anti-fracking ballot initiatives. These measures passed the Senate with a 3/4 majority vote.