Michigan Legalization Group Shifting From Rec to Dispensaries

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A group in Michigan that was originally aiming to get a measure on the 2016 ballot to legalize recreational cannabis has shifted gears.

The organization is now focusing on getting lawmakers to pass a bill to permit and regulate MMJ dispensaries in Michigan – something many cannabusiness leaders and advocates have tried to do for years without success.

The Michigan Responsibility Council (MRC) is pushing state legislators to put a regulatory system in place for medical marijuana businesses. If that falls through, the group will attempt to put the issue in front of voters next year.

The MRC wants to pave the way for state-licensed medical marijuana cultivation sites, processors, testing labs and dispensaries via a regulatory framework that would be similar to Michigan’s alcohol system, a spokesman told MLive.com.

The group – which is funded by private investors – is proposing regulations with “narrow criteria” on who can obtain a MMJ business license, according to the report.

The lack of statewide regulations on MMJ businesses in Michigan has led to ongoing uncertainty, and dispensaries in several parts of the state being raided and/or shut down. Some lawmakers are currently working on a bill that would establish a regulatory framework for the state’s medical cannabis industry.

Two other groups are currently raising signatures to get a measure on the 2016 ballot to legalize recreational marijuana.