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Michigan: Medical marijuana dispensaries can stay open — for now


bobandtorey
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After receiving hundreds of complaints from medical marijuana card holders that they would be without the product they need for their health for an extended period of time, the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reversed itself Wednesday and decided to let dispensaries stay open during the licensing process.

The department had come up with a ruling in September that dispensaries should close by Dec. 15, which is the day that applications for five categories of licenses become available, or risk losing their chances of getting one of the lucrative licenses.

But medical marijuana cardholders — more than 272,000 in Michigan — worried that the lapse of time between applications and licenses being awarded by the state early next year would leave many of them without access to the product they use to treat a variety of ailments from cancer to epilepsy.

So the state approved an emergency rule Wednesday that will allow existing dispensaries that have gone through an approval process in the community where they operate to stay open while they go through the state licensing process.

“Patient input played a big factor,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. “When we looked at the feedback, especially from people with the greatest difficulty of access, we wanted to ensure that those folks would have access to their medicine.”

The ruling goes against the feelings of two members of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board — retired Michigan State Police officer Don Bailey and chairman Rick Johnson — who wanted the dispensaries to shut down even sooner than Dec. 15.

But Brisbo said board members were made aware of the ruling and would honor its impact.

"Administrative rules have the effect of law, and the board can’t make decisions outside the confines of the rules," he said.

 

With the Dec. 15 deadline looming, legislators in both the House and Senate had proposed legislation that would have allowed dispensaries to stay open during the transition to the fully regulated market. But those bills only got one hearing and no vote.

“We’re really excited that the department is working to allow patients to continue accesssing medicine in a safe way during the transition period,” said Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, one of the sponsors of the bill. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a legislative fix or emergency rules. We’re just in favor of something that’s going to guarantee safe access.

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, another sponsor of the legislation, said after hearing from medical marijuana patients that he was all in favor of allowing dispensaries to stay open.

“Certainly, I want dispensaries to follow the law and get licensing, but there does need to be a transition period and as the representative of the Epilepsy Foundation stated at our hearing, it’s a matter of life and death for some of these people,” he said.

The medical pot shops that do stay open won't be guaranteed a license from the state, even if they have the blessing of their local community. But the fact that they continue to operate during the licensing process won't hurt their chances for a license.

Some of the dispensaries that have been operating with permission from their communities had closed down when LARA first came out with the advisory that they should shut down by Dec. 15.

Amir Makled, an attorney representing Advanced Wellness in Detroit, was thrilled by the news. The Detroit dispensary shut down in September after the initial rule came out because the owners didn’t want to jeopardize their chance at a license.

“It had a significant impact on them and their patients. They had to cover all of their costs for their building out of pocket,” Makled said. “And every one of their patients were in a real bind.”

Advanced Wellness has three dispensaries in Detroit, but only one of them had gotten approval from the city to operate. So that one on Warren will reopen and the other two will remain closed until they can get approval for a license.

More: Michigan lawmakers want to give medical marijuana dispensaries a reprieve

More: Marijuana degree combines science and business at Northern Michigan University

There are dispensaries operating all over the state, including Detroit, Lansing, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Flint. But other dispensaries, especially in northern Michigan, have shut down after police raided the facilities. Eight facilities were told to shut down last month by the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor's Office after a sting operation by a narcotics enforcement team led by Michigan State Police.

The applications for five categories of licenses — growers, processors, testers, secure transporters and dispensaries — will be available from the state on Dec. 15. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will begin awarding licenses early next year.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/2017/11/01/medical-marijuana-dispensaries-michigan/822080001/

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If True and I think it is especially being on LARA"S Page , Also In an Associated Press by David Eggert  with the same content this would be good news for us all would it not ??......... (only restriction is  local Dispensaries have a city license)

Edited by oldirongut
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Dispensaries have been cheating and lying for nearly a decade now. Sure, they serve patients like that. While caregivers are working to serve their patients the best they can following the restrictive rules. Dispensaries really do need a break right? 

How can anyone possibly guess what will happen next and who will do what after getting bribed?

They have no rules so everything is always up in the air ..........

 

 

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25 minutes ago, semicaregiver said:

I think the most interesting part will be in the Spring when there likely be several "state licensed" dispensaries and no product available yet from "state licensed" growers.

Never stopped them before. They get it from other states and The Black Market. That pipeline will stay open along side of the 'pretend' legal supply. I wonder who really is being fooled by all of this BS?

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state licensed dispensaries can only buy product from state licensed processors using the seed to sale tracker. there is no point of entry to insert black market sourced cannabis. especially not at the dispensary point. 

did you read 4209?

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2016-PA-0281.pdf

possibly black market cannabis can be inserted at the processing level, where 3 pounds of wet marijuana somehow turns into 3 pounds of dry marijuana.

each plant will be barcoded, tracked , weighed, tagged with special tamper-proof tags, and especially videotaped. and then inspected over and over and over again by the state and local law enforcement.

i dont think its interesting at all when the first dispensaries will be licensed. because the state will license a bunch of places and then nothing will happen for 4 months until the new plants can be harvested.

 

 

MORE INTERESTING TO ME AND UNANSWERED QUESTION:

chicken and egg problem. 

where do the chicken farmers (growers) get their eggs (seeds/clones) from, in a seed to sale tracked program? the obvious answer is they buy them from caregivers or the black market. but all of that will be tracked. hmmmm

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6 minutes ago, t-pain said:

state licensed dispensaries can only buy product from state licensed processors using the seed to sale tracker. there is no point of entry to insert black market sourced cannabis. especially not at the dispensary point. 

did you read 4209?

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2016-PA-0281.pdf

possibly black market cannabis can be inserted at the processing level, where 3 pounds of wet marijuana somehow turns into 3 pounds of dry marijuana.

each plant will be barcoded, tracked , weighed, tagged with special tamper-proof tags, and especially videotaped. and then inspected over and over and over again by the state and local law enforcement.

i dont think its interesting at all when the first dispensaries will be licensed. because the state will license a bunch of places and then nothing will happen for 4 months until the new plants can be harvested.

 

 

MORE INTERESTING TO ME AND UNANSWERED QUESTION:

chicken and egg problem. 

where do the chicken farmers (growers) get their eggs (seeds/clones) from, in a seed to sale tracked program? the obvious answer is they buy them from caregivers or the black market. but all of that will be tracked. hmmmm

Yes, I read 4209. And I also read the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008. Dispensaries NEVER followed The Act. Why would they start following the rules after 4209? And even more remarkable; Why would anyone think they would follow any new rules when they didn't ever follow the old ones? 

Again, who do they think they are fooling?

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Here's my take on it;

Law enforcement has been embarrassed that dispensaries blatantly are breaking the rules set forth in The Act and they can't do anything about it because they are too lazy to do actual police work.

So they make a new set of rules for them that are not so embarrassing. Easier to hide the illegal rule breaking because the rules are more complicated and harder for the average Joe to see that they are flagrantly being broken by every dispensary open in the State of Michigan. 

With the new rules it's easier to keep the tax payer as a mushroom who can't see the moves busted for bribes. And law enforcement isn't all chapped about looking powerless to stop rule breakers. It's a win win for the bribe takers and the rule enforcers. Let's have a big party to celebrate their victory!

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Medical Marihuana Facilities: Temporary Operation

 

The purpose of this bulletin is to advise the public and potential applicants of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation’s intention as to how to address proposed marihuana facilities that may currently be in operation under local municipal authority. This bulletin is only for advisory purposes and is subject to change.

To help ensure the continued protection of medical marihuana patients the department intends to address in emergency rules that an applicant currently operating a proposed marihuana facility that would otherwise require a state operating license will not automatically impede the applicant’s eligibility for state licensure if either of the following conditions are met:

  1. The applicant’s proposed marihuana facility is in a municipality that has adopted an authorizing ordinance prior to December 15, 2017 and the municipality is pending adoption of an ordinance under Section 205 of the MMFLA; or

  2. The applicant’s proposed marihuana facility is in a municipality that has adopted an authorizing ordinance pursuant to Section 205 of the MMFLA prior to December 15, 2017.

An applicant that is temporarily operating under local authority is not guaranteed a state operating license. Additionally, the following requirements must be adhered to:

  • The adoption of the ordinance must be (1) attested to by the clerk of the municipality and (2) the municipality must authorize the temporary operation of the applicant.

  • The applicant must apply for a state operating license no later than February 15, 2018 --otherwise any operation may be considered as an impediment to state licensure.

  • Noncompliance with temporary operation may be grounds for disciplinary action and could be referred to law enforcement for unlicensed activity.

  • The applicant must be issued or denied a license on or before June 15, 2018.

  • The municipality must have adopted or amended an ordinance in compliance with section 205 no

    later than June 15, 2018.

  • An applicant denied a license must cease and desist any operation if they have not been issued a

    license by June 15, 2018.

  • Any temporary operation after June 15, 2018 will be considered unlicensed activity.

  • Unlicensed activity may result in a referral to law enforcement for unlicensed activity. The

    Department may forward any or all unlicensed activity to the Departments of the State Police and

    Attorney General.

  • If a state operating license is issued, an applicant is no longer operating temporarily and must

    comply with all rules and regulations that apply to licensees.

    This bulletin does not constitute legal advice and is subject to change. It is intended to be advisory only, in anticipation of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ promulgation of emergency rules consistent with statutory requirements. Potential licensees are encouraged to seek legal counsel to ensure

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2 hours ago, semicaregiver said:

I think the most interesting part will be in the Spring when there likely be several "state licensed" dispensaries and no product available yet from "state licensed" growers.

 That won't happen because there are a lot of growers that have already started growing many cannabis plants as i type this i think that is why they wanted to stack license because they have well over the 1,500 plants count 

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36 minutes ago, oldirongut said:

Aside from law particulars and  item bickering,  crooked lobbyists, Cops out of control, and all the rest of the items that people disagree on. The winners here are some 180,000 patients who have won a howbeit temporary victory by having meds at their disposal again, Is that not a good thing ?????

What has happened is the fleecing of some folks who pay bribes to get some sort of control over the cannabis market. Paying for a monopoly. Eventually the market will have to support this dead weight. That means patients will foot the bill or they will go somewhere else they can afford. That will cause a forced monopoly where only penalties will push patients back to the high prices. It's a viscous circle with lots of dead weight we will have to support. 

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6 hours ago, t-pain said:

 

 

 

MORE INTERESTING TO ME AND UNANSWERED QUESTION:

chicken and egg problem. 

where do the chicken farmers (growers) get their eggs (seeds/clones) from, in a seed to sale tracked program? the obvious answer is they buy them from caregivers or the black market. but all of that will be tracked. hmmmm

Yes caregivers will fill that role temporarily to supply licensed facilities with clone stock.

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3 hours ago, semicaregiver said:

The same idiots that wrote the old law seem to have written the new one.   Licensed grow ops are allowed to buy "seeds" and "seedlings" from caregivers, not clone

Well the bmmr are working on emergency rules as we type. It will be addressed there but yeah, 72 big donkey moms might be a good money maker in a few months.

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19 hours ago, t-pain said:

re reading 4209 i see that a grower can directly sell to a dispensary. i thought there were more required steps but i was wrong.

 

as for rules, there is only one rule, the golden rule. he who has the gold makes the rules.

as usual i am confused.... i am going to go and re read again....but i thought 4209 says a caregiver can BUY from the new system for their patient but not SELL anything into it...

can you direct me to the page where it says caregivers can SELL?

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2 hours ago, mibrains said:

as usual i am confused.... i am going to go and re read again....but i thought 4209 says a caregiver can BUY from the new system for their patient but not SELL anything into it...

can you direct me to the page where it says caregivers can SELL?

a state licensed "grower" not "caregiver". i fear its going to get confusing in a few months.

(f) “Grower” means a licensee that is a commercial entity located in this state that cultivates, dries, trims, or cures and packages marihuana for sale to a processor or provisioning center.

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11 hours ago, shishka said:

Well the bmmr are working on emergency rules as we type. It will be addressed there but yeah, 72 big donkey moms might be a good money maker in a few months.

Except for the fact that the 72 plants were supposed to be to supply the five patients you signed. You don't think that anyone would care that you did this fraudulently because it's for a dispensary? Plants legally grown for patients connected to you through the registry but then just shuffled off be sold to different folks? 

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