Michigan medical marijuana regulation vote postponed after heated debate

December 9, 2015:

Michigan’s Senate Judiciary Committee had planned to vote Tuesday on a package of bills to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry, but after a long, heated debate, two committee members had to leave early to attend a funeral and the vote was postponed, as reported by MLive.

Committee Chairman Rick Jones may schedule another hearing later this week or next week, which is the last scheduled session week of the year.

The proposed bills to license and tax medical marijuana were met with outrage from some medical marijuana patients and advocates who said the proposals will unfairly drive up costs for patients, according to Michigan Radio.

Organizers who had previously supported the bills have withdrawn their support due to changes made by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would enact a three-tiered system for licensing and operating medical cannabis businesses.

The tiered system would prevent marijuana business owners from obtaining licenses to operate multiple types of medical marijuana businesses, similar to the state’s alcohol industry regulatory system.

Critics say the new version of the bill will drive up prices for patients and generate major profits for middlemen, as reported by Michigan Radio.

Supporters say the proposals would create a safe regulatory framework for medical marijuana and would prevent marijuana monopolies from ruling the market.

Michigan voters originally passed medical marijuana laws in 2008, but the law does not address medical marijuana dispensaries. Michigan’s Supreme Court has authorized prosecutors to shut dispensaries down. However, some dispensaries have continued operating “at the leisure of local officials,” according to MLive.

Currently 23 state and the District of Columbia have passed some form of medical marijuana laws.

Written By Emily Gray Brosious Posted: 12/09/2015, 10:50am

Original post: http://tinyurl.com/z6df7es

Rendered template: single.php