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Law Michigan MMJ

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Law by Jurisdiction' started by momofthegoons, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    Michigan is a medical marijuana state and is poised to go recreational. According to this article:

    Here is an article that details the changes that were made to the MMJ law in October, 2016.

    I have asked a Michigan NORML member to come aboard and add information regarding the law here and up and coming news regarding medical marijuana in the state.
     
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  2. Mr Mellish

    Mr Mellish Active Member

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    Thanks, @momofthegoons. I would like to learn more. After the shenanigans last fall that kept the recreational proposal off the ballot, I've been very disappointed and would like to understand this optimism.
     
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  3. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    @Mr Mellish I heard back from him today and he will be joining soon. He is well versed in the Michigan law (as well as Ohio's).

    I was really happy that concentrates and edibles were finally approved last October. But a fast one was pulled with the changing of the law regarding time limits on petitions that really messed up any hope of recreational passing. My hope is the next go round. I know NORML is gearing up.
     
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  4. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the article, Mom. The new structure looks much like the MMJ structure that Maryland is busy screwing up in its implementation and the payola and "insider advantage" claims are certainly are similar.
     
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  5. BD9

    BD9 Leaf Dawg

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    Good news for two southwest Michigan cities. Buchanan and Niles, MI are getting dispensaries! :weed: :smile:

    http://wsbt.com/news/local/buchanan-council-votes-to-allow-marijuana-dispensaries

    Buchanan council votes to craft medical marijuana dispensary ordinance

    Buchanan city commissioners voted 4-1 Monday to craft an ordinance to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

    Sales at businesses would be taxed at a rate of 3 percent.

    Right now, medical marijuana patients in the area have to drive two hours to get their medication.

    Niles council votes to develop medical marijuana ordinance.

    http://wsbt.com/news/local/niles-council-votes-to-develop-medical-marijuana-ordinance

    Niles City Council is moving forward with its medical marijuana plans.
    the council voted 7-to-1 to support the crafting of an ordinance on possible medical marijuana facilities.
    The vote is not for an ordinance to permit such facilities, but it allows council to craft the details of what types it would allow.
     
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  6. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    Requiring someone to be a resident of Michigan before they qualify for a business opportunity is a Constitutionally sketchy move- so why did MPP insert that requirement into their Michigan legalization proposal? Intentional failure is the suspected motive
    [​IMG]



    photo caption: Hash Bash 2017

    by Rick Thompson/April 4, 2017

    FLINT- The Marijuana Policy Project is in Michigan quietly working on a petition for marijuana legalization. The petition they have drafted contains gifts to business, concessions to special interest groups and two business models which have been supported by many medical marijuana businessmen and registered patients.

    A time bomb is included in the bill- a requirement for state residency which legal experts and others have determined could be ruled a violation of federal law. If so, licenses for the business models which use residency as their sole requirement for operation could be completely halted before any of them are issued. The two business models which cite this residency clause are the two businesses models most advantageous to small business- the micro grow operations (100 plants) and the microbusiness concept (150 plants and vertical integration).

    Here's the rub: that dangerous and potentially unlawful residency language was removed from other parts of the previous draft because of the belief that it IS vulnerable to being overturned, so inserting a dangerous section of law into these business model descriptions is seen by some as an act of sabotage against the small business interests in Michigan.

    The language featuring this unique definition is contained in Public Draft 2 of the petition language drafted by the MPP coalition, which was released March 22. The final draft of the petition language will be issued by MPP soon. There is time to fix it before the petitions are printed. If MPP chooses to do that, or not, will tell the entire story of this petition and the process by which it was derived.

    THE ISSUE

    The MPP Coalition petition outlines 5 different business models: secure transporter, cultivator, processor, testing facility and distribution services. These business titles match the five noble businesses described in the new laws regulating Michigan's medical marijuana marketplace, the MMFLA. That group of laws became effective in December and are undergoing the process of adoption, including the naming of an Administrative Rules panel and a Licensing Board by the Governor and legislative leaders.

    The MMFLA is a set of laws which were initiated by citizens in 2011 through the MACC organization to give protections to the individuals and existing small businesses participating in the medical marijuana program begun in 2008. The language of the original bill was created by MPP's Karen O'Keefe and Michigan activists. During the course of three legislative cycles the language was twisted from the citizen-protection format into a business-protection program which alienates small businessmen and the existing medical marijuana caregiver network in Michigan.

    One of the failures of the MMFLA was its high barrier to entry for business participants. Instead of adding a citizen-friendly 100 plant cultivation business model, the legislators set the lowest available medical marijuana growing license at 500 plants- a mark which is widely acknowledged as requiring capital and real estate investments beyond the means of most patients and caregivers who are current participants in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMP). The MMFLA also excludes caregivers from being business owners and from acting as employees in some of the business models it outlines, and is broadly looked upon with disgust by the rank-and-file medical marijuana patient population in Michigan, who number over 200,000.

    Who loves this MMFLA program? Medical marijuana industry trade groups the MCDA and the NPRA, the alcohol and tobacco distributors and retailers, and conservative Republicans like Senator Rick Jones, who introduced many of the worst pieces of the MMFLA in his Judiciary Committee. His former office secretary now runs the MCDA, which should indicate to observers where that organization's loyalties lie.

    When the 2017 Coalition was formed by MPP, the concept of the small cultivation business was introduced into the marijuana legalization petition language by citizen groups including MILegalize and Michigan NORML. Many of the registered patients and caregivers in the medical program hailed these small business models as a valid upgrade to the MMFLA program- and as a saving grace for the MPP legalization proposal, which is otherwise seen as a giant gift to corporate money interests.

    Support for the MPP proposal among citizens is largely based on the belief that these two models will 'solve' the problem NPRA and the MCDA left us with- the exclusion of working-class people in the business community generated by the new medical marijuana business laws. This residency trap could sink those two models.

    THE LANGUAGE AT QUESTION

    When Draft 1 of the petition was introduced on February 17 it contained descriptions for each of the business proposals outlined above. When Draft 2 was issued by MPP the language was significantly adjusted. Look at the two different versions below. From Sec. 10 (6) of the first public draft:

    (a) for a class A marihuana cultivator, from persons with experience cultivating marihuana in compliance with the Michigan medical marihuana act, 2008 IL 1, MCL 333.26421 to 333.26430;

    (b) for a marihuana retailer, marihuana processor, class B marihuana cultivator, or class C marihuana cultivator, from persons holding a state operating license pursuant to the medical marihuana licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801;

    (c) for a marihuana microbusiness, from persons holding a state operating license pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801; and

    (d) for a marihuana secure transporter, from persons with experience cultivating marihuana in compliance with the Michigan medical marihuana act, 2008 IL 1, MCL 333.26421 to 333.26430 or from persons holding a state operating license for a secure transporter pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801.

    Also in Draft 1, section 10(3)(f) includes residency in the state of Michigan as a proposed requirement for ALL businesses included in the MPP legalization program.

    In Public Draft 1 the ownership requirement for the 100-plant grow operation (Class A) is merely to be a caregiver or a patient who cultivates under the medical marijuana law. The only requirement for a marijuana microbusiness is being licensed by the MMFLA, which is the same requirement as a Class B grower (500 plants), a Class C grower (2,00 plants), a dispensary operator or a cannabis processor license.

    Look at the new requirements for ownership of those same business models contained in the March 22 draft:

    for a class A marihuana grower or for a marihuana microbusiness, from persons who are residents of Michigan;

    for a marihuana retailer, marihuana processor, class B marihuana grower, or class C marihuana grower, from persons holding a state operating license pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801;

    for a marihuana secure transporter, from persons holding a state operating license for a secure transporter pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801, and who have experience transporting products upon which an excise tax is collected, remitting excise taxes to the department of treasury, and applying tax stamps to identify when taxes have been paid; and for a marihuana safety compliance facility, from any applicant.

    Evaluate these changes:

    *Notice that the new draft has completely removed a patient or caregiver's stated right to qualify for a license. The phrase "persons with experience cultivating marihuana in compliance with the Michigan medical marihuana act" is taken away from the two businesses where it used to apply- the small grower and the secure transporter. One of the most attractive features of the MPP petition is gone.

    *Also removed from Draft 2: the section 10(3)(f) language requiring all businesses to be owned by Michigan residents.

    *Now to qualify for the 100-plant grow one merely has to be a state resident with no experience in growing cannabis. The qualifications for a marijuana microbusiness have been changed, too, removing the reference to the MMFLA and instead inserting the residency requirement.

    Why remove the residency requirement for 6 business types? Insiders tell this journalist that the Coalition drafters are aware that residency requirements in any Michigan law could be deemed illegal. Making residency a requirement for ALL businesses could sink the entire legalized marijuana proposal.

    Why leave the residency requirement in for the two smallest types of licenses? Because the two citizen-friendly business models are disfavored by the advocates of big business grow operations (500, 1500 and 2000 plant grows). The perception is that small grow operations will steal market share from the large industry players. If the residency requirement sinks the 100-plant and 150-plant grow models it would leave only the corporate-friendly businesses as legal to operate under the MPP legal marijuana proposal. Big business wins, the people lose.

    Marijuana Policy Project enabled a protection for the 6 big business licenses and left vulnerable the two most citizen-friendly business models. Since NPRA is a big part of the MPP Coalition it's no surprise that they are pushing for a personal possession limit which contains less plants than the MMMA allows citizens and that they have insisted on inserting a first-in-the-nation 24 months ban on national monetary investment in Michigan. Finding out that they engineered this time bomb to eliminate the two business models would be no surprise to me.

    The petitions have not been printed; MPP still has time to correct this issue. Contact former Michigan House Representative and now-MPP employee Jeff Irwin to express your opinion regarding the draft language.
     
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  7. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    hi @momofthegoons - yep, its MJ as big business yet again. In Maryland we have a similar situation in that there are NO small business or patient grow provisions at all. ALL cultivation (15 licenses), processing (15 licenses), and dispensing (102 licenses) will be done by fairly large businesses, many of which have large out of state partners.

    Sounds like you got a real fight on your hands up there. Go get em', tiger! :nunchuks::torching:
     
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  8. BD9

    BD9 Leaf Dawg

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    Wow! @momofthegoons, that is terrible. This is why I always ask people to contact their officials and give input on things like this. It doesn't matter if it's a congress people, senators or an official related to pending and current laws like MPP employee Jeff Irwin.
    While I understand the seriousness of the subject we're dealing with we can't just 'discuss' legalization and 'hope' that someday it will happen... We need to use our voices, pens, keyboards etc,... This is especially true in states like MI that already have MMJ laws in place. You have nothing to be afraid of as you're protected.
    So use the above article as your motivation to take action.
     
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  9. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    How Michigan could make millions off marijuana
    Dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries are sprinkled in cities across the state, and Detroit has 61 pot shops open for business. But come this time next year, the landscape for weed around the state could be completely different.

    That’s when the state will begin officially handing out licenses to growers, testing facilities, transporters and dispensaries.

    The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is beginning to gear up for the task of regulating a new, and potentially very lucrative, business in the state. The medical marijuana business is projected to generate revenues of more than $700 million, and if a ballot proposal goes to voters in 2018 and the market is opened for recreational use, too, those revenues will easily surpass $1 billion. (cont)
     
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  10. Mr Mellish

    Mr Mellish Active Member

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    2018?? DAMMIT!!!
     
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  11. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    Michigan centralizes medical marijuana regulation under new bureau

    The new bureau, housed in LARA, combines the existing oversight functions of the state's patient and caregiver registry with the newly established statutory requirements for medical marijuana facility licensing.

    "BMMR's organizational structure puts Michigan at the forefront of state medical marijuana regulation," LARA Director Shelly Edgerton said. "Many other states have various licenses and patient programs spread throughout different departments and agencies."

    Centralized services will enhance patient protections and make regulations more efficient for business customers, she said.

    BMMR is in the process of implementing the regulatory framework created by legislation signed by Gov. Snyder in September 2016. Regulatory functions include the licensing, investigation and enforcement of medical marijuana growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers and safety compliance facilities.

    Gov. Snyder signs medical marijuana bills clarifying dispensaries, edibles

    The legislation requires the bureau to make licensing applications available by December 15, 2017.

    BMMR has selected Franwell, Inc., a technology company, to administer the state's monitoring and tracking system.

    The system will provide the bureau with detailed inventory information, track medical marijuana in all its forms from "seed to sale" and help ensure the legal manufacturing, transportation and financial transaction of medical marijuana in Michigan, LARA said.

    The bureau will also house the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP), the state patient and caregiver registry that currently contains more than 240,000 active patients and 40,000 active caregivers.

    The Senate Fiscal Agency projects Michigan's medical marijuana market to be worth $711.4 million, and related taxes under the new law would raise about $21.3 million per year to be split between municipalities, counties, State General Fund/First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund, county sheriffs, the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, and the Department of State Police.

    Attorney Jeffrey Hank, Chair of MI Legalize, the group working to bring the issue of legal recreational marijuana to voters, called the creation of the BMMR "more unnecessary bureaucracy" that wastes taxpayer money.

    He said there's no need for the secure transport provisions of the law, which requires commercial entities to be licensed to legally transport marijuana from one facility to another, and that the requirement opens the door for special interests to make money off of the system.

    He believes it shouldn't take the state this long to set up the new system, he said, and the longer it takes means less jobs and tax revenues and "we all lose."
     
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  12. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    Pot activists push to put legalization on 2018 ballot in Michigan

    Supporters of legalizing marijuana in Michigan have tried repeatedly without success to get the issue on the ballot in recent years, using an army of volunteers to collect signatures. But in 2018, they'll have money, national expertise and momentum behind the effort to free the weed.

    Advocates pushing for pot legalization in Michigan will rally on the steps of the state Capitol Monday; the petition drive to get the issue on the November 2018 ballot will begin in earnest in the next couple of weeks.

    “We’re right on the precipice of being ready to launch this thing. It’s going to be very, very soon,” said former state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, the political director for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

    Michigan has legalized the medical use of marijuana, but efforts to legalize it for recreational use have stalled in recent years. The coalition will have an advantage this year over previous efforts to get the issue on the ballot. The national Marijuana Policy Project, which has gotten involved in several other states where marijuana legalization has succeeded, has jumped into Michigan’s ballot drive.

    “The Marijuana Policy Project out of D.C. is involved, and they bring some national expertise to the state,” said Josh Hovey, a spokesman for the coalition. “They’re helping make sure we do things the right way.”

    As a result, the push this year and next is expected to be better-funded — between $8 million and $10 million is needed for the petition drive and ballot campaign. And there should be enough money to pay petition circulators to gather a minimum of 252,523 signatures from valid Michigan voters in a 180-day time frame, Hovey said. The last group to try to get the issue on the 2016 ballot — MiLegalize — gathered more than 350,000 signatures, but not within the 180-day time frame.


    MiLegalize, as well as the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for Marijuana Legalization, or Norml, have signed on to the latest effort and will bring its army of volunteers to the push to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

    “Our group decided the language of the ballot proposal was acceptable. We’ve got something that everyone can work with,” said Jamie Lowell, spokesman for MiLegalize.

    The tentative draft of the petition, which is expected to be submitted to the Board of State Canvassers for consideration later this week or next week, would:



    • Legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal, recreational use for people who are 21 or older.
    • Set up three classes of marijuana growers: up to 100 plants, 500 plants and 2,000 plants.
    • Tax marijuana at the wholesale level, at $20 per dry-weight ounce, as well as at the state’s 6% sales tax on retail sales. Those revenues would be split, with 50% going to public education, community colleges and vocational schools, and the other half being split between cities and counties that allow marijuana businesses.
    • Allow communities to decide whether they’ll allow marijuana businesses in their communities.
    • Require testing and safe transportation of marijuana in the state.
    The legalization would be a boon for state coffers, with $100 million in tax and fee revenues projected each year, Hovey said, and that’s a conservative estimate, given that Colorado, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, reported tax revenues of $200 million in 2016.

    Eight states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana in recent years: Colorado, California, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. So has the District of Columbia.

    Arizona defeated a ballot proposal in 2016.

    While law enforcement and business groups are waiting to come out with official stances on the legalization question until ballot language is available, their initial reaction is not supportive.

    “There’s no good that I can see that will come out of this,” said Blaine Koops, executive director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. “One of the problems we have is that there’s no way to measure the level of intoxication from this drug. And an increase in criminal behavior in all likelihood will occur.”

    Likewise, Mark Reene, Tuscola county prosecutor and the president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, said he didn’t think legalizing marijuana was in the best interest of the state.

    “Is legalization of marijuana going to make streets and communities safer? Will it be good for youth and businesses?” he said.

    “This is a critical juncture for this state. We’ve made progress, and we’ve done it by overcoming a number of (economic) challenges, but we’re still at a very precarious position, and we’ve seen what happens at other locales. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug because of the high potential for abuse.”

    One person who's not jumping into the fight is state Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Midland Republican and possible candidate for governor in 2018.

    "It’s up to the voters to decide," said Schuette's spokeswoman, Andrea Bitely. "We need to keep drugs out of the hands of children, but the voters in Michigan should decide the issue."

    The Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO, Rich Studley, said businesses worry about safety and productivity on the job and on the roadways.

    “I don’t want to be working on an assembly line or construction site with someone who is drunk or stoned,” he said. “It’s fair to say we think it’s a dopey idea.”

    Irwin, however, said the prohibition of marijuana has been a failure that has cost the state and communities millions from law-enforcement costs and 20,000 people their freedom after being arrested for marijuana offenses.

    "Most adults can use alcohol occasionally and responsibly. We should have the same approach for marijuana, and the fact that we don’t has been a longstanding and costly failure," he said.
     
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  13. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    Hopes are high for legal pot in Michigan

    By Larry Gabriel
    [​IMG]

    It's on.

    Last week the Board of State Canvassers approved the language for a petition by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. That means if the CRMLA can gather 252,523 valid signatures in a six-month window by May 30, 2018, the question will be placed on next year's November ballot for voters to decide.


    Wasting no time, a coalition press release announced that a "signature collection kickoff event will be held before the end of May."

    "Prohibition didn't work with alcohol and it has clearly failed with marijuana as well," said CRMLA spokesman John Truscott in the release. "Our campaign will make Michigan a national leader by creating responsible regulations that will end the waste of law enforcement resources that goes into enforcing Michigan's outdated prohibition laws while also creating jobs and generating much needed tax revenue for our state."

    This is the moment that many have been waiting for and on the timetable that prudent prognosticators pointed to back in 2014. And it should be noted that Truscott is the spokesman for the campaign. He was the press secretary for former governor John Engler and is a principal in Truscott Rossman, probably the most powerhouse PR agency in the state.

    In addition to local and national organizations such as the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section all contributed to the petition language. That looks a lot more powerful than the last effort was coming out of the gate. For instance, the campaign will pay signature collectors from the start. The MI Legalize campaign relied on volunteer signature gatherers at the outset.

    But hold your horses before you start celebrating. As we know from the last election, weird things can happen.

    There's a lot of huffing and puffing about marijuana coming out of Washington, D.C., and you never know what an embattled and unpredictable President Donald Trump might do. When signing the federal spending bill, which says the Justice Department may not use federal funds to go after state compliant medical marijuana facilities, Trump included a signing statement objecting to that provision along with some others. He could instruct U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to go after these facilities.

    Sessions has outlined a tough-on-crime agenda that calls for adherence to mandatory minimum laws and making the toughest provable charges in a case. He's promised to crack down on marijuana and laughs at the idea that it is medicine.

    There are still plenty of people getting arrested for marijuana offenses nationally and locally. Michigan State Police data shows arrests went up 17 percent from 2008 (when the medical marijuana act passed) to 2014. And that is despite city after city voting to decriminalize during that period. Many arrests came from crusading law enforcement looking for ways to get around the law. One tactic is to say the person arrested was somehow noncompliant with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and therefore cannot use it as a defense. For instance, having a few more than the legally allowed 12 plants would forfeit your protections.

    And now we're talking about recreational use?

    There are a number of industries that would like to see any kind of legal marijuana rolled back — including the pharmaceutical, alcohol, tobacco, and for-profit prison industries — and the prison guards unions, and almost every police force in the nation. And the way this president seems to love the corporate world, who's to say what will happen if these guys catch his ear and he gets prodded by Sessions? Add to that the unpredictability that could come into play, especially if he feels like he's being cornered and has to do something to make himself look tough. Ruining some lives along the way isn't out of the question.

    As ominous as that sounds, there just may be a lot of bluster from the federal policy standpoint. After all, there are 29 states with substantial medical marijuana laws, and recreational use is legal in eight states plus the District of Columbia. Then, last week the Vermont state legislature sent an adult recreational use bill to the governor. If he signs the bill, or more likely lets it become law without signing it, it will be the first legislative recreational legalization in the country. So far all the other states legalized it with petition initiatives.

    Another interesting thing to note is the Vermont law allows adults to have two plants and possess up to an ounce. There's no provision for commercial grows, stores, and taxes although the state is looking at states where that is going on for future developments.

    So while the feds huff and puff, unless something big changes — such as a Muslim dropping a marijuana bomb on Mar-a-Lago — the feds probably have neither the political will nor the budget to take on the burgeoning marijuana industry.

    Which brings us back here to the Great Lakes state. Things are looking pretty damn good if you support legalization. A February EPIC-MRA poll showed 57 percent support for legalization in Michigan. That number has been growing year by year and, if trends hold, by 2018 that number should be a little higher.

    CRMLA is better organized, better funded, and a little wiser for the experience than the last effort. The reason the 2016 initiative didn't make the ballot was that the signatures weren't all collected within the 180-day window. That's not going to happen this time. In all likelihood this petition will make the ballot. There will probably be a spirited resistance to the legalization campaign, but if people vote as they have been telling pollsters, Michigan should be on track to legalize.

    The initiative's provisions:

    · Legalize possession, cultivation, and use for adults

    · Legalize growing industrial hemp

    · License businesses to grow, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana

    · Call for testing and safety regulations for retail sales

    · Set up a 10 percent excise tax and six percent sales tax for education, roads, and local governments.

    This is the moment many activists have been waiting for. Legalizing marijuana will stop ruining families and lives through the legal system. It will take away an excuse for police to harass people. It will allow people to indulge in a mostly harmless leisure activity. And, if places like Colorado and Washington state are an indication, it will put some money into the coffers of the schools and fix the roads.

    Oh, did I mention that right across the border in Canada, legal recreational marijuana sales are scheduled to start on July 1, 2018?

    Oh, hell yeah, it's on.
     
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  14. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Ohioans Buying Michigan Medical Pot Ahead of Rules Being Set

    Ohioans wanting medical marijuana have been crossing the border into Michigan, where some Detroit-area dispensaries will sell to out-of-staters who are issued recommendations for cannabis use months ahead of the drug becoming available in their home state, according to officials from a company providing the recommendations.

    Those recommendations, given by doctors working for a Toledo business or any other Ohio physician, won’t necessarily help someone in court if they are busted for having pot into Ohio. Possession of less than 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio with a maximum $150 fine, but could lead to someone losing their driving privileges for six months.

    While it’s a violation of federal law to cross state lines with marijuana, legally obtained or not, the likelihood of someone being prosecuted federally for carrying smaller amounts of marijuana is negligible.

    Even so, there needs to be clearer guidance on the early medical-pot recommendations, said Chris Lindsey, an attorney for the national advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project.

    “They didn’t revisit the language to ensure patients were protected,” Lindsey said.

    Ohio’s medical law was approved last year and requires that dispensaries must open by September 2018. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office says marijuana possession, medical or otherwise, remains illegal while state agencies write the rules and regulations on how cannabis can be grown and sold.

    The doctors working for Toledo’s Omni Medical Services are relying on an ambiguous provision in the new law that says doctors can give people “affirmative defense” letters to use in court if cited or arrested for possession ahead of dispensaries opening.

    The apparent loophole says that there must be a doctor-patient relationship and that a person must have one of the Ohio law’s 21 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use, which include cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

    Louis Johnson, Omni’s managing director, said he conferred with attorneys and the Ohio Medical Board before the company’s two physicians began making recommendations.

    “We know what we’re doing is legal,” Johnson said. “We’re out in the open. We’re not hiding in the dark.”

    The state medical board said it would investigate complaints against physicians who have recommended medical marijuana, but did not say whether doctors who followed the provision’s requirements could face discipline. A medical board spokeswoman said all investigations are confidential and wouldn’t say whether the board has received any complaints about physicians making marijuana recommendations.

    Johnson said he and his doctors are interested only in helping people get medicine they need. Hundreds of people have been given recommendations so far, but he wouldn’t offer a more detailed number, he said.

    “We’re not here to serve people to get high,” Johnson said. “That’s not what we’re about.”

    Omni patients pay $250 for the initial visit and must provide copies of medical records to prove they qualify for medical cannabis. Patients receive the recommendations, an affirmative defense letter and medical marijuana card labeled with Omni’s name, not the state of Ohio. All three documents are supposed to be good for 90 days.

    The Associated Press found no reports that anyone has been arrested for bringing medical pot in from Michigan. But it did find one instance in Ohio in which an affirmative defense letter not only prevented a man from being cited for possession, but it also led to police returning his pot.

    A police task force raided a man’s home in suburban Cleveland in March searching for narcotics and found only a small amount of marijuana, not enough to trigger a felony charge, said attorney Thomas Haren, who wouldn’t identify his client.

    The man explained to police it was for treatment of glaucoma and provided a copy of an affirmative defense letter from his doctor. Haren wouldn’t say whether the man obtained his pot or identify the doctor, but said he didn’t work for Omni.

    Haren said he called the commander of the task force and police returned the marijuana to his client along with a letter from police that said he wouldn’t be prosecuted.

    “This is the gold standard for how it’s supposed to work,” Haren said.

    The task force is headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford, where the police chief cautioned against viewing the return of the pot as a “major victory” for medical marijuana supporters.

    “The facts that led up to the search warrant didn’t live up to what was found,” Chief Kris Nietert said.
     
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  15. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Here's who will serve on the Michigan medical marijuana board

    Five people have been appointed to the state of Michigan's newly created medical marijuana board, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday.

    The board will be tasked with implementing the system that allows licensing of medical marijuana operations, such as dispensaries, processors, growers and transporters. It will be housed within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

    License applications for such operations will be available by the end of the year.

    "This board will help provide the proper oversight of medical marihuana facilities to keep the public safe by ensuring proper health and safety standards are being met," Snyder said in a statement.

    Battle Creek commissioners held discussions during a May 16 workshop on whether to allow medical marijuana operations in city limits. It's unclear if and when they'll take action on an ordinance.

    Here's who was appointed to the board:

    • Rick Johnson of LeRoy, a former state representative and House speaker. He will serve as chairman. Johnson manages Common Cents Farm. He will represent Republicans. His term expires December 2019.
    • Nichole Cover of Mattawan, a licensed pharmacist and healthcare supervisor for Walgreens. Cover is chair of the Michigan Board of Pharmacy and previously was its representative on the Controlled Substance Advisory Commission. She will represent independents. Her term expires December 2018.
    • David LaMontaine of Monroe, a business agent and executive board member for the Police Officers' Association of Michigan. He is the House speaker's nominee and will represent Republicans. He is a former U.S. Marine, a police officer and hostage negotiator and detective. His term expires December 2019.
    • Donald Bailey of Traverse City, a retired Michigan State Police sergeant. He has more than 30 years of law enforcement and attended the Drug Enforcement Agency's Drug Unit Commanders Academy. He will represent Republicans. Bailey's term expires December 2020.
    • Vivian Pickard of Bloomfield Hills, president and CEO of The Pickard Group consulting firm. She was director of public policy at General Motors and president of the General Motors Foundation. Her term expires December 2020 and she will represent independents.
     
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  16. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    And nary a pro-cannabis advocate among them.... :disgust:
     
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  17. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Hey @momofthegoons - I KNOW you are going to love this one.....NOT!

    Detroit Busts 167 Pot Shops, with More Closures Coming

    Detroit's crackdown on illegally operating medical marijuana dispensaries has shuttered 167 shops since the city's regulation efforts began last year, and dozens more are expected.

    Detroit city attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell said that 283 dispensaries were identified last year, all of which were operating illegally.

    "At the time I sent a letter to each one of them indicating that unless you have a fully licensed facility, you are operating at your own risk," he said.

    An additional 51 shops are in the pipeline to be closed in the coming weeks, Hollowell said. That would bring the closures up to 218, a step closer to the goal laid out by officials to only have 50 dispensaries in the city.

    And as of last week, only five have been licensed and are legally allowed to operate within city limits. Applications are still in the queue for approval, Hollowell said.

    The city's medical marijuana ordinances took effect March 1, 2016. Since then, teams of inspectors from the city's Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department and police officers have visited many of the identified stores to alert them of their noncompliance.

    The new ordinances require operators to obtain a business license designed for the medical marijuana stores.

    Shops are also prohibited from operating within a 1,000-foot radius of a church, school, park, liquor store, other dispensary

    or a drug-free zone such as a library or child care center, Hollowell said. They also must close by 8 p.m.

    Store operators can apply for a variance to operate within those boundaries, however.

    "The voters of the state made medical marijuana legal, so we have to manage that in a way that is consistent with keeping our neighborhoods respected and, at the same time, allowing for those dispensaries to operate in their specific areas that we’ve identified as being lawful," Hollowell said.

    There are an estimated 244,125 registered medical marijuana users in Michigan, and the city has been enforcing the ordinances via court orders and administrative actions.

    "We ask the court for order of closure and padlocking. ... We haven't lost one of those cases yet," Hollowell said.

    Community members like Winfred Blackmon have expressed concern about the city's large number of dispensaries for years.

    Blackmon chairs a group of community leaders called the Metropolitan Detroit Community Action Coalition. He isn't against marijuana usage for sick people, he said, but he wants the shops to be properly regulated.

    "When this marijuana stuff got out of control we had people from Palmer Woods, the east side, University District, Bagley, they all started e-mailing and it grew," Blackmon said. "People started getting frustrated with the marijuana shops that kept popping up around their houses and schools."

    The city has a dedicated unit of seven attorneys in its legal department that specifically focuses on dispensary-related issues, Hollowell said, at both the enforcement phase and the licensing and regulatory level.

    Petition language that would legalize marijuana for recreational uses was turned in to the Secretary of State earlier this month with the hope of appearing on the 2018 ballot. The city is aware of the effort and is monitoring it appropriately in case it appears on the ballot and is eventually passed, the attorney said.

    "A number of states have legalized medicinal marijuana or legalized marijuana, even not for medical purposes," he said. "There are models from other states out there in how that’s been regulated.
     
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  18. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    You're correct about that. They've already shut down two of the dispensaries I frequented. I'm really hopeful they aren't going to close the current one I go to.

    But if they do, it'll only mean that I need to drive further. Since I hit Ann Arbor once a month, and there are a ton of dispensaries there, it shouldn't sting too bad. :smile:
     
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  19. Mr Mellish

    Mr Mellish Active Member

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    Stupid question but how does one find a way to sign the petition? There were people at an art fair last week trying for signatures but I was with my wife, who is strongly anti-MJ (propaganda believer) and I couldn't seem to break away long enough.
     
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  20. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Vapor Accessory Addict Staff Member

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    That's a good question. And I'm not sure. I checked the CRMLA website and there's no info there.

    I know there are several events planned by NORML in the coming weeks. And there's the Cannabis Cup in Clio on June 24/25th where I'm sure there will be booths set up. I'd keep my eye peeled for those types of things.

    NORML also had petitions in the major smoke shops (like BDT Smoke Shop in Hazel Park) and dispensaries last go round so I'm sure they'll do the same this time.

    Edit to add:

    I just saw this posted on IG... might be of interest?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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