Michigan’s House of Representatives has voted 95-11 to create a cannabis regulatory system that will require the assemblage of a new state board that will issue licenses to dispensaries, large-scale growers, processors, distributors and testing facilities, according to mLive. The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (HB-4209), will also impose a three percent sales tax on retailers’ gross income as well as authorize physicians to prescribe medical cannabis in non-smokable forms. This bill has been passed on to senate with hopes of being approved later this fall.
Alongside HB-4209, Michigan’s House approved a “seed-to-sale” tracking system under House Bill 4827, which would “establish a system to track marihuana and marihuana products in commercial trade, monitor compliance with laws authorizing commercial traffic in medical marihuana, identify threats to health from particular batches of medical marihuana, require persons engaged in commercial trade to submit certain information for entry into the system, provide the powers and duties of certain state departments and agencies and provide for sanctions,” as stated in the official document. This system would also put an eight percent excise tax on cannabis transfers to dispensaries. According to Lansing lawyer, Jeff Hank, the state-estimated cost to set up the tracking system would be $726,000 and $21.1 million a year to maintain, with most of the expense going towards paying the 151 people required to administer the system.
While these regulations have been passed statewide, the city of Detroit is experiencing some changes in how its medical cannabis dispensaries are being run. Councilman, James Tate, introduced the Medical Marihuana Caregivers Proposal earlier this month with the intent to regulate licensing and zoning within the city. In a 6-1 vote, Detroit City Council voted to set strict licensing regulations upon cannabis facilities that until recently, have had little to no rules to abide by. Council members will vote on later this week to determine whether or not local dispensaries will be required to abide by the zoning regulations put forth in Tate’s proposal.
Although these laws are not favored by all, they are the most significant changes that have been made to medical cannabis regulations since its legalization in 2008. Not only will these regulations ensure the fair and safe cultivation and trade of medical cannabis, they will allow patients to obtain cannabis from providers other than their caregivers.