Michigan legislature passes MMJ industry regulations

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Michigan lawmakers at long last approved a set of sweeping regulations Wednesday for the state’s sizable medical marijuana industry, paving the way for a statewide oversight and licensing system for MMJ businesses.

For years, Michigan’s legislature had failed to agree on a regulatory system that would stabilize Michigan’s MMJ trade. But lawmakers were finally able to pass a package of five bills that would give legal protections to dispensaries, growers, edibles makers, and more, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The new system, which will likely take at least a year to implement, will set up state licensing for five different business types: grower, processor, dispensary, transporter and testing lab.

A spokeswoman for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement the governor still needs to review the final legislation, but that “overall he is supportive of the policies” in the package of bills.

Still, many in the existing industry aren’t exactly delighted with the outcome, or the process by which lawmakers passed the bills, according to the Free Press.

One dispensary owner, Jamie Lowell, said he was “perplexed” as to why the current MMJ system – which relies completely on local regulations – was being “replaced by an overly restrictive, costly new system.”

And Rick Thompson, a longtime activist, called the legislative process that produced the bills “a tale of special-interest concessions, law-enforcement lobbying and political manipulation.”