St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Marijuana Laws

Medical Marijuana Laws

The use and regulation of medicinal marijuana is an issue that was on the ballot in a number of different states this November. The state of Michigan has recently approved a package of bills regarding the licensing, taxation, and regulation of medical marijuana. This new legislation would make some significant changes to the current medical marijuana laws. If you or anyone you know may be affected by the changes in the medical marijuana laws, contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, a drug attorney in Cass County.

Significant Changes in Regulation

Under the new legislation, a five-member bipartisan medical marijuana licensing board will be appointed by the governor. This board, along with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, is charged with the duty of overseeing marijuana facilities to ensure that their products satisfy health and safety standards. These standards are similar to those which are imposed for comparable foods and drugs. Those who grow, process, and dispense medical marijuana need to hold a license from the state to do so; the license is good for one year and can be renewed annually. To obtain and retain a license, holders will be subject to extensive disclosure requirements as well as background checks.

In addition, municipalities have control over whether medical marijuana facilities can be located in their jurisdiction. Municipalities must authorize medical marijuana facilities and can set a limit on the number of facilities as well as their location within the municipality. Furthermore, municipalities may charge up to $5,000 as an annual fee to offset the cost of administration and enforcement.

Non-smokeable marijuana such as edible forms has also been approved for medical purposes. This form of medical marijuana can be used by children.

Moreover, medical marijuana dispensaries will have to pay a tax of 3% of their gross receipts in order to operate within the state. This tax will help to support law enforcement regulation efforts. This differs from other medicine in the state of Michigan which is not taxed.

There are also provisions for the transport of medical marijuana, inspection of medical marijuana facilities without notice or a search warrant, insurance, and quality control regulations.

Who is Affected

There are approximately 210,000 people in the state of Michigan who are authorized to grow, purchase, or consume medical marijuana for medical conditions such as: AIDS, cancer, seizures, and chronic severe pain and it’s used by children to the elderly.

Drawbacks to This New Legislation

One of the concerns with the recent changes in the legislation concerning medical marijuana is that the amount of regulation is too extensive and will cause an increase in prices for acquiring the drug. Some argue that this price increase may place an undue hardship on those who are suffering from ailments and need medical marijuana. The National Patients’ Rights Association, on the other hand, contends that the new regulations allow patients access while ensuring that the marijuana is safe and in the appropriate dose.

For further information concerning the changes in regulation of medicinal marijuana use in Michigan, contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, a leading drug attorney in Cass County at 269.982.1100 or visit

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