State lawmakers plan to take up bill to revive medical pot dispensaries

Jul 8, 2013

A state House panel is likely to take up a bill soon that would revive medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan. Republican lawmakers are starting to take interest in the issue.

Earlier this year, the Michigan Supreme Court handed down a ruling that effectively stopped most marijuana dispensaries from operating in the state. The court ruled that the dispensaries can be shut down as a public nuisance. Now state lawmakers say they’re close to a deal on legislation that would allow and regulate the facilities.

Republican state Representative Mike Callton (R-Barry County) sponsored the bill. Without the dispensaries, he says patients will have very limited access to medical marijuana.

“If we don’t take some sort of action, they may all be gone if we take too long,” Callton explained. 

Callton says many of his GOP colleagues are starting to take interest in the issue. “I definitely feel that, as Republicans, we’re not going to survive unless we adequately address contemporary issues like medical marijuana,” he added.

But, Callton says that Republicans in the House want some changes made to the bill before it moves out of committee. That will likely include mandatory testing of medical pot for things like pesticides and mold.

The state Supreme Court handed down a ruling earlier this year that effectively stopped most medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in Michigan.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Kevin Cotter says a vote to allow the facilities is “very possible” when lawmakers return from their summer recess.