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Michigan Legislature Passes MMJ Reform Package

Michigan’s House of Representatives has approved a package of reform bills which will license, tax, and regulate the cultivation, transport, processing, testing and sale of medical cannabis in the state, the Detroit Free Press reports. The five-bill package illuminates an industry that has operated in a gray market since voters legalized medical cannabis use in 2008.

Under the reforms, the state will issue licenses to dispensaries, growers, processors, secure transporters, and testing facilities. The initial and annual application fees for those services will be set by a newly-created medical marijuana licensing board. Dispensary sales will be taxed 3 percent.

Robin Schneider, legislative policy director for the National Patients’ Rights Association, called the plan “common-sense regulatory framework” that will ensure safe patient access to all forms of medical marijuana. However, dispensary owner Jamie Lowell said the current structure wasn’t needed in the county in which he operates and will likely raise the prices for many of the state’s 210,000 patients.

“I’m perplexed about why a system that has been in place in this state for seven years, right in the backyards of some of these legislators and functioning just fine, is being replaced by an overly restrictive, costly new system,” he said in the report.

The package has been sent to Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign it into law.

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