Michigan Governor Uses Executive Authority to Fix Cannabis Regulatory Agencies

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Politicians and law enforcement are often stumbling blocks for medical cannabis laws and cannabis legalization efforts. Nowhere has that been as obvious as in the state of Michigan. Although it has been more than a decade since State voters past a medical cannabis law with a nearly two-thirds majority, activists across the state know that access is difficult at best due to a lack of regulated facilities.

The lack of safe access in Michigan is directly tied to policies held by the former governor and attorney general. They both made every possible effort to suppress progress for cannabis legalization. The same is true of many state lawmakers, who were quick to undermine the desires of their voters.

Many patients and caregivers alike report harassment and mistreatment from law enforcement. Dispensaries and compassion clubs have been shut down. Some owners even faced prosecution. Beyond that, the bureaucratic processes involved with both medical cannabis licensing and upcoming recreational cannabis licenses has deterred large percentages of the community from participation.

Thankfully, after a decade of politicians intentionally obfuscating and stonewalling the progress of the medical cannabis act, the new governor in Michigan is taking action. Instead of waiting for lawmakers to address the problem, Gretchen Whitmer used her executive authority to issue an order on March 1, 2019, intended to fix the broken cannabis systems in Michigan.

Her order creates a new agency called the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The order also dissolves to other organizations with the creation of this new agency. The same agency will have responsibility for handling both recreational and medical cannabis programs. Only time will tell how this move truly impacts the cannabis industry and cannabis patients in Michigan.

However, it is clear that Michigan’s new governor, like many current politicians, isn’t afraid of throwing her support behind cannabis publicly. This is a drastic shift from just a few years ago, when only a handful of politicians would dare openly support legalization efforts. 2019 is just starting its third month, and already we’re seeing major political progress on cannabis. Here’s hoping positive impact affects more than just politicians looking for a popularity boost.

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Photo Credit: Veryhuman via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0