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Head of marijuana agency says legalization could draw out-of-state users

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The DEA announced that marijuana will continue to classified as a Class I drug stating the drug has "has no accepted medical use in the United States."

The head of Michigan’s marijuana program says he intends to watch and learn as the state figures out the rules for future sales of recreational marijuana.

Andrew Brisbo testified before a legislative committee on the future of marijuana in Michigan Wednesday. That’s after voters approved recreational marijuana use last fall.

Michigan is the first state in the Midwest to allow the recreational use of marijuana. Brisbo says that could lead to more people visiting Michigan to buy and use marijuana when sales become legal next winter.

“We have a population in Michigan of almost 10 million, but we’re also the first state in the Midwest to have an adult use program, so the population of potential consumers is larger even than the population of Michigan,” Brisbo said.

Brisbo says people who try to bring marijuana into Michigan from another state or vice versa are taking a risk. That’s because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

“The end goal is to ensure that the regulated market succeeds because the success of the regulated market is what will cause the degradation of the black market,” he said.

The state board that approves medical marijuana licenses meets Thursday.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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