Michigan MMJ Bills Sputter, Leaving Industry in Limbo

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Michigan sheriffs reportedly helped kill legislation on Thursday that would have allowed the legal return of medical marijuana dispensaries and edibles, according to MLive.com.

The move leaves dozens of MMJ dispensaries hanging on by their fingernails, since they’re technically illegal even though Michigan allows medical marijuana use. Without regulation from the state, companies could be shut down by their county governments, and edibles will remain banned for patients who prefer ingesting to smoking.

Although there was hope that the pair of bills would be approved at the last minute, the state Senate adjourned its 2013-14 session without taking action on either measure. The bills had languished in the Senate for an entire year after clearing the House.

The MMJ industry in Michigan has been in limbo since the state’s Supreme Court ruled in February 2013 that many dispensaries constitute a “public nuisance.” Just a few months later, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that edibles are not a legal form of MMJ under state law.

State Rep. Mike Callton, a Republican from Nashville, told MLive.com on Thursday that it looked early as though his dispensary legislation would pass. But then the Sheriff’s Association “had all their sheriffs call all their senators, and suddenly we lost a lot of votes,” he said.

Callton promised to reintroduce new legislation next year, and said he plans to work with the opponents in order to get their support.