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Northern Marijuana Dispensaries?




For Journal Register Newspapers


TRAVERSE CITY — Several private medical marijuana dispensaries in northwest lower Michigan have been ordered to cease their operations as a result of a Michigan Court of Appeals.


The court’s ruling called for all privately owned and operated marijuana dispensaries within the state to stop selling marijuana to their clientele, which affects several businesses in the Traverse City area.


Sun Compassion, 5690 U.S. 131 North in Acme, just outside Traverse City, considers themselves “consultants,” making no verbal reference to their operation as a collective or dispensary.


Marijuana can be found on their premises, however.


A member of Sun Compassion, who would not give his name, said the ruling simply meant Sun Compassion would no longer accept new members. Their operations will continue for existing members.


“Sun Compassion is open to its members and not accepting new membership,” he said. “Here we offer medical marijuana consultation services, whether that’d be somebody may need to buy some variety in particular that might work for their condition.”


The man only referred to Sun Compassion as an information resource for medicinal marijuana users.


“There are no other agencies or places you can go out there and find information,” he said.


Sun Compassion can no longer conduct any patient-to-patient transfers, however, stated within the court’s ruling.


Asked if Sun Compassion was considered a dispensary, the man said it was not, but stated there is no legal definition for a dispensary, collective, co-operative or a compassion club.


When asked if marijuana was found on their premises, he chose not to answer.


Sun Compassion’s website states: “Sun Compassion is a premier dispensary in Acme founded to assist our members in safely and securely obtaining medical cannabis in accordance with the Michigan Marijuana Act of 2008 … We provide a warm and comfortable environment in which members can securely obtain a wide variety of medical cannabis products.”


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he would notify all 83 county prosecutors as a result of the ruling, as law-enforcement authorities can now immediately shut down dispensaries.


“This ruling is a huge victory for public safety and Michigan communities struggling with an invasion of pot shops near their schools, homes and churches,” Schuette said in a statement.


The 2008 medical marijuana law states people are able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of “usable” pot and keep up to 12 plants in a locked place. No mention of dispensaries was made in the law, on which the Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals.


“If I operate a compassion club, where is the law? It’s simply stated that patient-to-patient transfers of all sorts are now illegal, nothing else, nothing further,” he said


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