Michigan Senate passes statewide medical marijuana regulations

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The Michigan state Senate has cleared the way for a new statewide regulatory system for the medical cannabis industry by passing a package of bills, the Detroit News reported.

If the five related measures are all approved by the House and given the go-ahead by the governor, it could mean the beginning of a new era of market stability for one of the most sizable MMJ industries in the Midwest.

The quintet of bills include House Bills 4209, 4210, and 4827, and Senate Bills 141 and 1014. Together, they create a licensing system for plant-touching businesses, including growers, processors, transporters, testing labs, and provisioning centers and dispensaries, the Detroit Free Press reported. State business licenses would cost $5,000 annually.

The measures would also formally legalize edibles, establish a seed-to-sale tracking system, enact a two-year prison penalty for selling MMJ without a license, and place medical marijuana regulation under the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

The Michigan Legislature has been struggling with MMJ regulations for years. And if the bill package ultimately becomes law, it will mean Montana will be the only state with a medical marijuana system lacking any kind of statewide regulations.

Thursday’s Senate passage of the MMJ legislation came after the state’s Supreme Court dismissed a bid to put a recreational cannabis initiative on the fall ballot, all but ending the possibility that Michigan residents will vote on the issue in November.