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State regulators could shift medical marijuana industry to benefit some, keep others out

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The state is trying to come up with rules to regulate growing and dispensing cannabis. Lawler said, "The biggest question right now is who gets to do it."

In Lansing, lobbyists, big business, and small caregivers are jockeying to influence rules for growing and dispensing medical marijuana.

At the same time, lawmakers are considering beating voters to the punch by approving recreational marijuana in a way that could be very business friendly.

MLive published some reports on those issues this week, like this one and this one. It was joint reporting by MLive’s Emily Lawler and Craig Mauger with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a watchdog group looking into money and influence in politics.

On medical marijuana

“Depending on how state regulators draw up these [medical marijuana] rules, they could shift this industry to benefit a certain segment of those looking to get into it and maybe keep another segment of people out of it,” Mauger said. “I mean, these rules that they’re creating are extremely important in determining who’s going to benefit from this ultimately.”

On recreational marijuana 

"Obviously, on the administrative end, the medical end, we're talking about things being made more business friendly and the kind of treatment that businesses have gotten," Lawler said. "You know, there's the potential for some similar things to happen on the recreational end."

Lawler and Mauger joined Stateside today. Listen to their conversation with host Lester Graham above.

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