Proposed changes to Michigan cannabis caregiver rules spur protest

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A series of bills introduced this month in the Michigan Legislature – and supported by large marijuana businesses – was met with backlash from angry medical cannabis patients who want the caregiver system in particular to remain untouched.

The legislation is purportedly aimed at cracking down on the state’s illicit cannabis market.

The situation pits big industry players against grassroots activists and MMJ patients, with the former arguing more regulation is needed to ensure a stable market and the latter rejoining that the current program works fine as is, and that the proposals are nothing more than a grab for market share.

According to, the trio of bills introduced on Sept. 14 would:

  • Shrink the number of allowed patients per MMJ caregiver to one from five.
  • Reduce the overall number of marijuana plants each caregiver is allowed to cultivate, to a total of 24 plants, which includes a cap of 12 patients with one plant each and another 12 for personal caregiver use.
  • Decrease the amount of MMJ caregivers are allowed to have on hand at any point in time, to 5 ounces from 15.

The Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association is the highest-profile supporter of the bills.

Opponents, however, include Michigan Caregivers United, the Michigan chapter of NORML, at least some of the state’s legacy MMJ companies, hundreds of protesters that showed up at the state capitol to protest the bills and at least one Democratic state lawmaker from Detroit, the Lansing State Journal reported.