Déjà Vu All Over Again
In 2008, voters passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, but since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2018, cannabis corporations have been trying to restrict caregivers that grow pot at home. The new Michigan Cannabis Safety Act would radically change how caregivers are allowed to operate. Legislation has cleared the House Regulatory Reform Committee, and will go to the House for a vote.
Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association (MCMA) Executive Director Steve Linder states, “We applaud the members of the House Regulatory Reform Committee for taking this major step toward addressing Michigan’s unregulated, unlicensed cannabis market by helping ensure all patients have access to cannabis that is tested, clearly labeled, tracked and licensed.”
Licensed caregivers are allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for up to five patients. The new regulations would cut the number to one, potentially cutting off about 42,000 patients and forcing them to purchase products from state-licensed dispensaries or go to the black market.
These new regulations seem designed to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Anton Harb, a Macomb County caregiver, says, “There is no data showing that anyone has been injured by caregiver flower.” Of his clients that are veterans, he advises that for PTSD patients, many of which are wary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the caregiver system gives them a degree of anonymity. HB5301 would allow the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency to also disclose the addresses of caregivers to law enforcement.
The MCMA posts no list of member businesses at Michigancma.com, and Rick Thompson, executive director of MiNORML, states, “They scrubbed their website of the names of all member companies and guarded the member list like Fort Knox. That creates a greater image of dark money.”
No vote has been scheduled on the new regulations. To lobby against the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, visit norml.org/act/michigan-oppose-medical-cannabis-caregiver-restrictions.