Distilling the Madness as Dispensary Shutdowns Loom

. October 2, 2017.
We can’t be sure exactly how the licensing process will all shake out, but it’s causing a big, and perhaps excessively burdensome stir
We can’t be sure exactly how the licensing process will all shake out, but it’s causing a big, and perhaps excessively burdensome stir

With a possible shutdown of the bulk of Michigan’s existing dispensaries in the hands of the state’s Medical Marijuana Board, it’s important to look at the moving parts that shape this issue.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was approved by voters in 2008, but lacked much of the industry regulation that has since become commonplace in other states that have adopted medical cannabis laws. The vague law was generally unchallenged until 2013, when the Michigan Supreme Court handed down a ruling declaring dispensaries illegal, as the original legislation never made mention of provisioning centers/dispensaries.

The Supreme Court ruling prompted legislators to introduce bills over the ensuing years, before finally passing regulating legislation in 2016, calling for the creation of a Medical Marijuana Board to control the licensing process.

As the board took shape, it became clear the interests of the existing medical community might not be a high priority. The board includes two former cops, the chair of the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, a former Republican State Senator and the former Director of Public Policy for General Motors. Not exactly a group of cannabis industry insiders, and many in the cannabis community – both patients and existing dispensary owners – question the Board’s commitment to patients rather than proceeds.

That brings us to today, just a couple months ahead of what could be a complete industry shutdown while the state reviews licensing applications. LARA, the state department of licensing and regulatory affairs, gave dispensaries a reprieve until December 15, the date licensing applications open. The language used by LARA didn’t rule out dispensaries staying open while licenses are under review, but did say remaining open after December 15th could create a “potential impediment” to obtaining a license.

We can’t be sure exactly how the licensing process will all shake out, but it’s causing a big, and perhaps excessively burdensome stir in an industry poised to become a massive asset and contributor to the state’s economy.

Trending

Coolest Places To Fill Your Growler (While Supporting Local Breweries)

One of the things Michigan is most known for is our breweries. And nothing beats the delicious taste of a cool beer from one of our favorite breweries. With the addition of growlers, we can enjoy our favorite beers from our favorite local breweries from the comfort of our own home. We live in a

Project 206 continues to push the limits of jazz with new ‘Volatile’ EP

Project 206 masterfully melds freak-out jazz sensibilities with progressive rock tendencies on their instrumental, four-track sophomore EP, Volatile.

Venue Spotlight Series: The Ark

All live music venues are vital. That’s our starting point for this series. The stories we’re sharing here demonstrate that local establishments hosting performances by local musicians should never be taken for granted— particularly in a post-pandemic world.  When it comes to the Ark, you could argue that there’s been a dedicated constituency that has

The Truth About Human Trafficking: Local expert Bridgette Carr dispels common myths and offers real solutions

The phrase “human trafficking” can conjure up terrifying images of teenage girls being snatched up at the local mall— a problematic misconception about the realities of human trafficking.  Bridgette Carr, director of the University of Michigan Law Human Trafficking Clinic, explains that “buying into this type of narrative is harming those who are actual victims