Where things stand now, and the changes coming for marijuana in Michigan
Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008, and a few cities like Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids have decriminalized recreational use (though, you can still get civil infraction – a fine).
And a marijuana facilities licensing law signed by Governor Rick Snyder is set to go into effect this December. Rick Thompson serves on the boards of MI Legalize and Michigan NORML. He says the roll-out of the medical marijuana Facilities Licensing Act will basically “reinvent” the medical marijuana pipeline in Michigan.
“There’s been a robust industry already existing in the state since 2009, when the first program rolled out,” Thompson said.
Thompson says in December, a state board will begin licensing applicants for new distribution and testing centers, and other aspects of the medical marijuana industry, like transportation.
According to Thompson, there’s concern that existing medical marijuana business operators will be left out of the new program because of statements from licensing board members concerned that existing business operators won’t follow state guidelines.
As far as the petition drive to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan, the Board of State Canvassers approved the form of the petition to legalize marijuana for recreational use on Thursday.
“We believe that the public sentiment is in our favor,” Thompson said. “All the polling data indicates that the citizenry of Michigan is ready for legalized Marijuana. They’re ready for the revenue stream. They’re ready to redirect their police forces towards more violent crime and towards more appropriate places.”
Thompson also said he thinks any further efforts by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crack down on legalized marijuana use at the state level won’t be successful.
Listen to the entire conversation with Rick Thompson, above.