Medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan received a rare bit of good news today.
The state’s House Judiciary Committee approved two separate bills that would OK medical marijuana dispensaries and allow patients to consume edibles. Both bills now head to the House floor for consideration.
If approved, they would become legal updates to Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act of 2008.
The bills could end the years-long turmoil within Michigan’s medical marijuana industry, which has made it one of the most challenging markets for cannabusinesses in the country.
This has been a particularly bumpy year for cannabis professionals in the state. In February, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that Michigan’s medical marijuana act violates federal law, giving police the green light to begin shuttering dispensaries. Scores of dispensaries have closed across the state as a result.
Then in July, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that marijuana brownies are not a usable form of cannabis under the state’s medical marijuana law, essentially prohibiting all non-smokable forms of cannabis.
The new bills directly address the commotion caused by the two rulings. House Bill 5104 updates the medical marijuana law to clarify that multiple parts of the plant – such as dried leaves, resin and extracts – can be eaten or otherwise used by patients. House Bill 4271 would allow local communities to decide whether they allow dispensaries.
While getting the two bills through the House committee is a great first step, it remains to be seen if backers can muster up enough support to get the measures signed into law.