Michigan to Turn its Medical Marijuana Program into Law

Michigan to Turn its Medical Marijuana Program into Law

The new Michigan medical marijuana program can become a law this year, according to insider information. There is a set of three cannabis-related bills that can get a signature from the Governor Rick Snyder in November 2015. These bills are HB 4209, HB 4210 and HB 4827. With the Governor’s approval, the documents will significantly change the way things work in the Michigan medical cannabis area.

All the legislation has already been approved by the Judiciary Committee of the House. Now they need to pass through the voting process in the House and the Senate Judiciary. Moreover, the language of the bills needs to be approved by the full Senate before the documents will go to the Governor.

Most legislative documents need more than a few months to pass all the needed stages, but with this package we have a bit different situation. Since the Republicans who are the initiators of the changes have the control of the Senate, the House, the Attorney General, and even the Governor’s office, the bills have a very high chance to get an approval without any delays and serious bureaucratic obstacles.

Furthermore, the voting process seems to be going on in a rush with a number of  infringements. For example, the bill HB 4209 H-4 was given to the public last Tuesday, September 22, for the very first time. There were no preliminary hearings or special publications on the state website, even though the substitute document consists of 55 pages and contains the most important changes to the current medical cannabis system in Michigan.

Still, the Republicans had not enough time to read it properly, so they voted for the package of the bills without fully understanding their nature. On the other hand, the lawyers, who are reading the bills’ language, are quite furious. And so were the Judiciary Committee’s Attendees, who witnessed the unusual voting process.

Chairman Klint Kesto, Republican Commerce Township, added the 55-page substitute bill to the main document, got an approval for all three bills and only after that started asking citizens about their opinion on the bill.

What are the changes?

There may be lots of changes in the current Michigan medical cannabis program. The first is the tax policy change that will establish an 8-percent tax on medical marijuana in Michigan, along with the existing 6-percent sales tax. The second change is the new limits for the commercial marijuana growers—from 500 plants in the commercial garden to 1,500 plants for the business. These innovations can lead to the closing of the existing dispensaries and make the new barriers in the Michigan marijuana program.

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