In a contentious vote, the Michigan Senate approved a long-awaited overhaul to the state’s medical marijuana law [1]. Advocates agreed that change was necessary in order to clear up confusion regarding the 2008 voter-approved medical marijuana law [2].

The bills approved by the Senate require a state operating license, which must be renewed annually, to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana used for medical purposes [2]. Approval to set up shop would also be required from the city, township or village in which someone wishes to open a “provisioning center”. Provisioning centers that sell marijuana to patients or their caregivers would pay a 3 percent tax on their gross retail income [2].

The bills also broaden the definition of “usable marijuana” and “allowable marijuana” to include non-smokable forms such as oils and pills, and food items, known as edibles. The bills establish a maximum THC levels for foods such as suckers, brownies, cookies or chocolates that contain marijuana or marijuana extract [1].

Republican Sen. Rick Jones supported the package, saying “[what] we have now is totally out of control…caregivers are growing excessive amounts of marijuana…they’re smuggling it in their trunks…it’s totally illegal [1]”.

If the House approves the new legislation, Michigan will be dealing with a whole new regulatory structure. Final voting by the House could take place as early as next week [2].

Stay tuned to Rights First Law for more on this and other legal news.

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