medical marijuana

Dominic Simpson / flickr

The clock is now ticking on Detroit’s medical marijuana dispensaries, as new city regulations kick into effect March 1.

Detroit’s medical marijuana industry has exploded in just the past couple of years.

Now, many of the city’s commercial strips are lined with pot dispensaries’ trademark green lights — more than 200 by some estimates.

But new rules going into effect this month should dim those lights to some degree.

Neeta Lind / Flickr

The regulation and taxation of the medical marijuana industry could generate up to $63 million a year for state and local governments according to recent report. 

Gary Wolfram, the director of economics at Hillsdale College and a former deputy state treasurer for taxation and economic policy wrote the report.

Max Lorincz and his wife Erica Chittenden outside their home in Spring Lake in Ottawa County. The couple has been fighting to be reunited with their son Dante since Max was charged with possessing synthetic THC – a charge some forensic scientists say is a
Rick Pluta / MPRN

Maxwell Lorincz lives in Spring Lake near Lake Michigan with his wife and their six-year-old son. At least, they did live with their son, until a year and a half ago.

They lost custody of him after Lorincz was charged with a felony for possessing synthetic THC. He’s a card-carrying medical marijuana patient. But that hasn’t helped in his fight to get his son back.

So for now, the family gets unsupervised visits for a few hours every week.

Michigan State Police

A group of criminal defense attorneys says the Michigan State Police (MSP) should no longer oversee the state crime lab.

“We in Michigan accept the idea we’ve got a Michigan State Police crime lab. That is inherently problematic. But we accept it, because that’s how it is,” said attorney Michael Komorn, who specializes in defending medical marijuana patients.

Komorn and attorney Neil Rockind recently filed a federal complaint against the lab in hopes that it will spark an independent investigation into a new crime lab policy dealing with synthetic THC.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons http://tinyurl.com/oall5zn

Medical marijuana could be a big topic of discussion for state lawmakers in 2016.

Bills in the state Senate would create protections for dispensaries and people who use non-smokable forms of medical marijuana, such as baked items and oils.

Now, Democratic state Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, has introduced a new bill that would ban employers from firing workers for having a medical marijuana card.

Singh says firings have become a problem in many states where medical marijuana is legal.

Dominic Simpson / flickr

The Detroit City Council has voted to restrict where medical marijuana dispensaries can operate in the city.

The Council passed a new zoning ordinance Thursday night. It approved another ordinance with dispensary licensing and inspection regulations in October.

The new rules limit dispensaries to certain industrial and business zones. They also set spacing regulations, and with limited exceptions ban them within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, and other designated “drug-free” zones.

A hearing on bills to create legal protections for medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan sparked some drama on Tuesday.

Many patients now oppose the legislation, in part because it creates new taxes on medical marijuana sales.

Neeta Lind / Flickr

Michigan police are weighing in on state proposals to officially recognize – and regulate – medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Michigan House already passed a bill to create a new framework for who grows, transports, and sells marijuana to these storefronts – sometimes called a “seed-to-sale” tracking system.

 There’s been lots of debate over the past few days about the political wisdom of going ahead in Michigan with a couple of ballot campaigns after similar efforts suffered big defeats last week in Houston and Ohio.

OH to MI? Apples to oranges

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s planning commission got an earful from residents about medical pot dispensaries Thursday night.

The city is considering an ordinance outlining new zoning and spacing restrictions for marijuana dispensaries.

marazmova / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new State Police crime lab policy allows prosecutors to charge cannabis users with felonies they didn’t commit. That’s according to medical marijuana activists, who uncovered the policy through a public information request and provided the documents to the Michigan Public Radio Network.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Detroit City Council has approved a medical marijuana ordinance.

The law outlines licensing and inspection procedures for marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state House has overwhelmingly approved bills to overhaul Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

The legislation creates legal protections for dispensaries and for patients using non-smokable forms of cannabis.

Bill sponsors say patients should not face prosecution for using forms of marijuana that are safer than smoking.

The Detroit City Council is expected to vote on a medical pot shop ordinance in the coming weeks.

It would create zoning, licensing, and inspection guidelines for marijuana dispensaries.

The ordinance has been introduced, and is going through the Council's committee process.

Marijuana plant.
USFWS

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss proposed bills relating to abortion and medical marijuana, what’s behind the $21 million lobbyists spent at the state capital this year, and the impact of a possible influx of Syrian refugees to Metro Detroit.

flickr user bobdoran / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state House panel has approved long-stalled bills to overhaul Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

House Bills 4209, 4210, and 4827 would add protections for dispensaries and non-smokable forms of medical marijuana. But to get the necessary support from Republicans on the committee, the bills now include taxing and tracking cannabis sold through dispensaries.

Wikipedia

The Detroit City Council could consider an ordinance to regulate medical pot dispensaries this month.

Council member James Tate says Detroit is experiencing an “oversaturation” of dispensaries, and that city leaders need to do something.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Patients with autism and Parkinson’s disease could use medical marijuana under a new effort to overhaul the system in Michigan.

The Michigan Responsibility Council (MRC) announced this week it will push lawmakers to make the state’s medical marijuana system safer and more accessible to qualified patients.

A button promoting marijuana legalization.
Danny Birchall / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Everything you ever wanted to know about marijuana in Michigan was discussed this week on Stateside.

From the politics - to the business - to the potential downsides.

We sat down with reporters, business owners, and law enforcement to learn more about the topic.

Here's a quick rundown of what we covered:

flickr user bobdoran / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

We’ve reviewed the movements pushing for marijuana legalization in Michigan, we’ve taken a look at how legal pot has treated Colorado, and we’ve heard the viewpoint of a medical marijuana caregiver in Ann Arbor.

Today, we get the law enforcement perspective.

flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

More than 50% of Michigan voters say in recent polls that they support marijuana legalization.

Two groups hope to put legalization proposals on the November 2016 ballot.

flickr user Eljoja / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

When it comes to the issue of marijuana – to legalize or not to legalize – Michigan seems to be about where Colorado was not too long ago.

Colorado had over a decade to experiment with medical marijuana before legalizing its recreational use in November 2012, which Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus tells us gave the state ample opportunity to figure out how marijuana can fit into the political and business landscape.

“Medical marijuana was huge. The state then decided, hey, we need to regulate this thing,” he says.

user A7nubis / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Getting high in Michigan has certainly changed over the past few years.

Voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in Michigan in 2008. Soon, it could be legal just for fun.

A number of groups seeking to legalize cannabis in Michigan are working to put ballot proposals on the 2016 ballot.

Michigan drivers have become all too familiar with the dreaded pothole.
flickr user Michael Gil / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This Week in Michigan Politics, Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Christina Shockley discuss another road funding plan, proposed changes for medical marijuana cardholders, and body cameras.


user elioja / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state board has approved adding autism to the list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel voted 4-2 on Friday to make the recommendation.

The final decision will be made by Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Mike Zimmer.

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Attorneys specializing in marijuana law now have their own division within the State Bar of Michigan.

The state Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals have had to rule on several cannabis issues since voters approved medical marijuana in 2008.

The chair of the new division says it will make it easier to attorneys to keep track of Michigan’s complex and ever-evolving medical marijuana law. 

flickr user bobdoran / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state board is considering adding autism to the conditions that can legally be treated with medical marijuana in Michigan.

Lisa Smith is the mother of a 6-year-old boy with autism. She says no other treatments have helped.

“As a last resort, I decided to try cannabis,” Smith told reporters after a hearing on Wednesday.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons http://tinyurl.com/oall5zn

The state is holding a public hearing Wednesday on a request to add autism to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. 

Lisa Smith of Van Buren Township filed the request to add the disorder to the list.

Smith said her autistic son's severe behavior stopped after taking medical marijuana orally to treat a different condition.

Colleen Allen, president of the Autism Alliance of Michigan, said alternative treatments for the disorder require more study.

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Bills to expand access to medical marijuana in Michigan may be benefiting from efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.

 At least three Michigan groups are already pursuing petition drives to legalize marijuana in 2016. 

flickr user bobdoran / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state Senate has passed a bill that would allow landlords to ban tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana in their rental units. Senate Bill 72 passed on a 34-3 vote with bipartisan support.

The legislation required a three-quarters majority vote because it would change Michigan’s voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act.

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