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Lawmakers in the state of Michigan have taken a substantial step forward. A pair of bills that would clarify the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act has finally moved out of Senate committee and will be put to a general vote. One bill, HB 4271, would expand the law to explicitly allow for dispensaries (or provisioning centers) and testing facilities to legally operate in the state. The other, HB 5104, would make cannabis concentrates and medibles legal.
This step marks significant progress, as the chair of the committee in question, Senator Randy Richardville, had previously indicated he might never allow the bills to pass out of committee. He was famously quoted as saying that he would “sit on them for a while,” and this was after the bills had been in the works for more than three years. The bills both passed the Michigan House of Representatives back in 2013, as it’s been evident for some time that the current interpretation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act does not do enough to protect patients.
Following passionate testimony by Michigan cannabis patients, both bills were approved, meaning they will likely be voted on by the full State Senate by September. Michigan residents with qualifying medical conditions, most of whom do not have access to dispensaries (as the state shut most of them down last year), may soon have safe access again to cannabis.
The “medibles” bill is also important because currently law enforcement in Michigan views medicated food items and cannabis oils/concentrates as illegal (despite the law’s language allowing for use/manufacture of marijuana and preparations thereof). The people who are the sickest, who need the strongest and most reliable medicines, are still being forced to purchase medication on the black market and are risking their freedom to do so.
At this time, most reports indicate the Governor of Michigan and the state Attorney general are hostile to the bills. There is still a possibility of an executive veto, though there could be sufficient support in the legislative branch to override the veto, if need be.
Ladybud Magazine will continue to follow these revisions to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and similar laws around the country. Read previous coverage of Michigan issues here!
Photo Credit: tpsdave under Public Domain via Pixabay