A collection of cannabis clones in the back room of a medical marijuana dispensary.

Neon Tommy

Michigan MMJ Licensing Board May Shutter Dispensaries Starting Sept. 15

At the second meeting of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board, Chairman Donald Bailey suggested that all dispensaries currently operating in the state would need to shut down by Sept. 15 if they wanted to be eligible for the new dispensary licenses, which are expected after Dec. 15, according to a report from MLive. The board did not pass the measure during the meeting.

“Every dispensary that’s out there right now is open in violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act,” Bailey, a retired State Police sergeant, said in the report, pointing to a 2013 Michigan Supreme Court decision as evidence of his claim.

Medical cannabis patients who attended the meeting strongly opposed the chairman’s suggestion and Tim Beck, who was instrumental in passing the voter-backed medical cannabis laws, called the recommendation “an unprecedented action.” He said he had heard rumors that the board wanted to shutter current operators and start over but he had dismissed them.

Bailey had made the same claims during the first meeting of the board in June.

“Right now, none of the extracts are legal; none of the dispensaries are legal under state law. It’s black and white,” Bailey said during the initial meeting. “With the Supreme Court making its ruling two weeks ago, that’s a done deal. So anything that’s open right now isn’t legal. Going forward there’s going to be a new law – they are going to be legal. But if you’ve demonstrated in the past that you’re not going to abide by the law that we did have why do we think – and it’s a rhetorical question – going forward you would abide by the new law.”

Jason Moon, a spokesman for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which oversees that Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, said the agency would “thoroughly review” the board’s recommendations and would “consult with the Attorney General’s office before any action is taken.”

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