Michigan’s medical cannabis caregiver system overhaul is ready for the vote

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Michigan lawmakers set to vote on a package of bills that would make sweeping changes to the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis law of 2008, including reducing the number of patients allowed per caregiver and limiting the number of plants that caregivers can grow at one time from 60 to 12, reports Michigan Advance.

Under current law, caregivers must register with the state but do not need a license to grow cannabis, can have up to five patients, and grow up to 12 plants per patient. Caregivers are currently not subject to state rules on testing, labeling or tracking cannabis products. Caregivers are allowed to grow a maximum of 72 plants if they are also patients registered with the state program, the report says.

The reform package includes six bills. In addition to the caregiver reforms, the reforms would create a license for producers of specialized medical cannabis and require those licensees to use a tracking system; exempts sales of cannabis from a registered primary caregiver or licensed specialty producer to an eligible registered patient from use and sales taxes; and updated the definitions of the debilitating medical condition in the state health code.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday applauded the approval of the reforms by the House Regulatory Reform Committee, saying they would “help improve safety and ensure fairness” in the cannabis industry. the state. Wendy Block, vice president of business advocacy and member engagement for the chamber, said that “the legislation creates the framework for a new class of licensees to join the licensing market and create thousands of licensees. new businesses “.

“By ensuring that all cannabis suppliers follow the same rules and standards such as testing, monitoring and licensing, this legislation helps promote safety, fairness and a level playing field in this industry. in full growth. “- Block in a press release

Caregivers argue that the bills are supported by the interests of cannabis companies in the state and create excessive regulations for caregivers.

Yyan Bringold, a caregiver who organized the Caregiver Rights Rally last month, said caregivers never got a seat at the table when lawmakers were drafting the legislation and officials ignored attempts by advocates to publicize the proposal.

“We will not give up,” he told Advance. “These big investors, they made a powerful move.”

Bill moves next to the House floor. They still need to be approved by the Senate before going to Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) for her signature.

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