Bad News for Michigan’s Latest MMJ Bills

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Michigan has become a battleground for medical marijuana legislation, and it appears that advocates are losing the latest battle.

Lawmakers have stalled two important medical marijuana bills in the state’s Senate Government Operations committee, and it appears that both bills are destined to die in limbo. On Monday, the chairman of the committee, Republican Rep. Randy Richardville, said he is going to stall the bills indefinitely because he believes Michiganders do not favor the dispensary model for distribution.

One bill legalizes and regulates dispensaries under the medical marijuana provisions that are found in many legal states. The other bill legalizes marijuana edibles and infused products.

Both bills passed in the House of Representatives last year with bipartisan majorities.

Some Republicans support the regulation of medical marijuana businesses. Rep. Mike Callton, a Republican, was the original sponsor of the bill legalizing dispensaries.

Michigan passed medical marijuana in 2008 by a margin of 63% to 37%, however dispensaries began operating without government oversight. In 2013 the state Supreme Court ruled that the dispensaries are illegal, and local law enforcement began shutting down businesses – though many remain open in moire MMJ-friendly municipalities.