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medical marijuana

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Michigan's state police director this week jumped into the debate over the decision of some NFL players to take a knee during the National Anthem. Col. Kriste Etue now faces an internal review by her department after she shared a Facebook post that called those players "anti-American degenerates." This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether her career can recover.

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Lawmakers in Lansing say they want a seamless transition as marijuana dispensaries start to get licensed.

Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation today. A few Republicans have voiced support of the bills. The legislation would let dispensaries keep their doors open while they wait for a license.

medical marijuana billboard that says "high ann arbor"
Emma Winnowiecki / Michigan Radio

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would ban medical marijuana advertising on billboards in Michigan. State law already bans advertising tobacco products on billboards.

"The intention of the bill is to match the ban on tobacco advertising, so we're not advertising marijuana to  our youth," said Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing.

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

The state is going to allow all-in-one medical marijuana facilities. The state’s licensing department today said it plans to let one person grow, process and sell marijuana – and do it all in one facility.

Andrew Brisbo is Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Bureau director. He says the plan isn’t set in stone yet. But Brisbo says the bureau wants to make sure people are aware of the intent.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan continues to wrestle with how to regulate and license medical marijuana dispensaries.

But there’s a potentially bigger issue facing the budding cannabis industry: the prospect that someone is trying to build a national monopoly on legal weed.

Tracy Samilton

The future of medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan could be decided tomorrow, when the state Medical Marijuana Licensing Board meets again to discuss whether current dispensaries should be able to get a license.

At the last meeting, one member said dispensaries should have to close their doors until the application process opens – or risk not getting a license at all.

The state’s licensing department will make a recommendation on the issue at the meeting.

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

In December, the state will start accepting applications for medical marijuana shops to get licenses. But meanwhile, there’s a dispute over how to deal with the dispensaries that are already open.

At a meeting today, the state’s medical marijuana licensing board considered whether dispensaries should have to close their doors before they can get a license. At least two board members want dispensaries that are already open to close next month – or risk being denied a license.

Marijuana plant.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Kalamazoo is the latest Michigan city to look to expand medical marijuana offerings.

The city will have two public meetings next week to discuss proposed ordinance changes that would allow commercial medical marijuana shops in some parts of town. The changes are allowed under a set of state laws passed last year

Clyde Robinson is the city attorney.

"None of this has been adopted yet by the city commission," he says. "So we’re looking for input into what we’re going to be recommending to the city commission."

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

A new state medical marijuana licensing board met for the first time Monday.

The meeting was mainly for the board to hear public comment about how the new medical marijuana program should operate. It won’t start issuing licenses until next year.

John Kroneck came to the meeting to represent Michigan Prevention Association. That group is concerned about potential consequences of expanding the medical marijuana system.

medical marijuana billboard that says "high ann arbor"
Emma Winnowiecki / Michigan Radio

State Senator Rick Jones says billboards advertising medical marijuana are sending a harmful message to kids and adults.

"All over the capital city of Lansing as you drive around, you see giant billboards that advertise 'High Michigan," says Jones.  "And they're talking about getting high on medical marijuana.  It would be the same as if you had billboards that said 'get high on opioids' that you take for pain medication."

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A pair of identical bills were introduced to the Michigan House and Senate Wednesday that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries and businesses from advertising on billboards.

Marijuana plants.
scubabrett22 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

New medical marijuana laws mean that by this time next year, things will be very different for the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. The state will be handing out licenses to growers, testing facilities, transporters and dispensaries.

That means the state will have to regulate and license this business as it expands.

It will also mean new taxes. Some predict that the medical marijuana industry could generate revenues topping $700 million in Michigan.

Marijuana
USFWS

Bills to legalize recreational marijuana for adults were introduced in the Canadian Parliament Thursday. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says no matter what Canada does, it's not going to change anything at the Michigan border.

The agency says its officers are highly trained to detect the illegal importation of narcotics. So anyone hoping to buy marijuana in Windsor, Sarnia, or Sault Ste. Marie and return to the U.S. with it could face fines and arrest. 

Screenshot of Detroit website allowing residents to see locations of medical marijuana caregiver centers.
Detroitmi.gov

Medical marijuana users have a new way to learn about caregiver centers in Detroit.

An interactive map will help them track the status of the more than 280 centers across the city.

120 shops are in the application process. Over 60 of them are able to operate in the meantime.

Marvin Jamo, owner of a medical marijuana caregiver center in Detroit, says plenty of people use medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Monroe City Council approved a decision this week to opt out of authorizing potential medical marijuana facilities. 

The council voted unanimously on the resolution. City Manager Vincent Pastue told The Monroe News that one of the reasons for the action is the lack of regulations related to marijuana facilities.

"It's difficult, if not impossible, for a community to make a land-use decision absent of these regulations."

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

A mistake in a newspaper report brought frightened medical marijuana users to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night.

The report wrongly said sheriffs are planning to use a state grant for unannounced spot checks at patients' homes.

Because of the stigma of being a medical marijuana user, many people who spoke at the meeting would identify themselves only by first name, like Denise from Hartland.

She says spot checks of patients violate the Fourth Amendment, "our right to not being searched and seized in our own homes."

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder has just a few bills from last session left to consider.

Among them is a bill that would allow landlords to include a provision in their leases preventing tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana.

Bill sponsor Republican Senator Rick Jones said the legislation protects fellow tenants and landlords from smoke and damage to buildings.

“No one needs to use medical marijuana in a smoking form,” he said. “If they have a prescription, they can use it in many other ways – edibles, creams, oils, and even vaporizers.”

Marijuana plant.
user Coleen Whitfield / flickr

ST. JOHNS, Mich. - The Michigan appeals court says the state's medical marijuana law protects people who are accused of illegally transporting pot.

In a 2-1 decision, the court threw out the misdemeanor conviction of a man in Clinton County, north of Lansing.

Callen Latz is a registered medical marijuana user. But he was charged in 2014 with violating a law that requires pot to be stored in a case in the trunk of a vehicle or in a spot that's not easily accessible.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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. 

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawyers for Spectrum Health are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a patient who alleges the company told her employer she was a medical marijuana patient.

In court documents, Lisa Richlich’s lawyer alleges her Spectrum Health doctor was negligent and invaded his client’s privacy when the doctor sent medical information to Richlich’s employer.

Richlich was to have neck surgery in the spring of 2015. She asked her doctor to send information to her employer, auto-supplier Gentex, about the surgery so that she could get time off under the Family Medical Leave Act.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Medical marijuana growers in Lansing may soon have to register with city, if they use an “excessive” amount of electricity.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is proposing an ordinance to require people who continuously use 5000 kilowatts of electricity to register with the city.   

“We have seen a number of cases where the growing equipment used to cultivate medical marijuana overloads the electrical circuits in the home,” says Bernero. “This, of course, creates a fire hazard.”

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

The state agency responsible for Michigan’s medical marijuana program says changes are in store. That’s after an audit found it’s not tracking doctors who approve medical marijuana cards.         

The report by the state Auditor General found one doctor was responsible for more than 11,800 medical marijuana cards -- one-fifth of all the cards approved. Another 22 doctors approved more than half of all medical marijuana cards.

Marijuana plant.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Two separate conferences want to teach the public what they need to know about Michigan's new medical marijuana laws.

The conference for attorneys is called "Marijuana: What every Lawyer Must Know" while the other is more for business owners and is called "Understanding the New Medical Marijuana Business Laws in Michigan."

Both conferences will focus on business owners and attorneys understanding the state's new laws regarding the so-called "cannabusiness." 

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Medical marijuana clinics in Michigan would have to be licensed and pay sales taxes under bills adopted by the state Senate.

The licensing would be handled by local governments, which could also set conditions such as hours of operation or where the clinics can be located.

The Senate votes were a surprise as the question of how to deal with the proliferation of medical marijuana clinics has languished for months.

The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason uses bumper stickers to spread their message.
First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason / Facebook

The First Amendment guarantees us the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose.

For Jeremy Hall, that religion centers around cannabis. 

Hall is a marijuana caregiver and an ordained minister. He's also the founder of a new church in South Lansing.

It's The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason.

Marijuana
USFWS

A group of medical marijuana patients has filed a class-action lawsuit against Michigan State Police crime labs and Oakland County.

The lawsuit filed earlier this week says crime labs are testing marijuana in oil and edible form then reporting it as synthetic, even if it isn't.

Defense attorney Michael Komorn says this practice has resulted in the wrongful arrest and detention of people who should have only been charged with misdemeanors.

flickr user Heath Alseike / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

How high is too high to drive in Michigan?

With more and more physicians prescribing medical marijuana for chronic pain and other conditions, it's a question that needs to be answered.

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.

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