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New laws, taking effect Tuesday, will regulate Michigan's medical marijuana industry

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
For many years, medical marijuana patients have been demanding many of the changes contained in the new Michigan laws.

New state laws take effect Tuesday that will regulate Michigan’s medical marijuana industry.

The three laws taking effect will legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, regulate growing and processing facilities and extend legal protections to registered patients who prefer to use non-smokable forms of the drug, including edibles and oils.

It’s the first major update to Michigan’s medical marijuana laws since voters approved legalizing pot for medicinal purposes in 2008. 

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the trio of bills into law back in September.  

"This new law will help Michiganders of all ages and with varying medical conditions access safe products to relieve their suffering,” Snyder said after signing the bills. “We can finally implement a solid framework that gives patients a safe source from which to purchase and utilize medical marijuana.”

Jeff Hank is with MI-Legalize, Michigan’s leading marijuana legalization group.  He generally approves of the new laws.  But the marijuana advocate isn’t thrilled with everything in the new law.

“The bad part of this law comes with…a tax on medical marijuana,” says Hank, “There’s no other medicine that’s taxed in the state of Michigan…that’s really unfortunate.”

Hank is also worried government officials will drag their feet on granting licenses to dispensaries and large grow operations.

He’s also concerned about what changes in federal policy the incoming Trump administration will bring and whether it will get in the way of state efforts to regulate medical marijuana. 

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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