New Michigan Medical Marijuana Program Could Be Law By November 2015


safer michigan marijuanaInsider information says the total redo on Michigan’s medical marijuana program could get Governor Rick Snyder’s signature in less than two months.

The three highly controversial Bills containing these proposed changes- HBs 4209, 4210 and 4827- were ramrodded through the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, September 22. The legislation must be approved by the full House before it can advance. The Senate Judiciary, and the full Senate, must approve the language before it can go to the Governor and become law.

In a normal year that might be an impossible feat to accomplish within two months. But in Michigan the Republicans have control of the House, the Senate, the Governor’s office and the Attorney General. Pet legislation is ushered through without the normal regard for the proper process of government.

IMPORTANT: This trio of bills will be discussed during the “PENDING LEGISLATION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE FUTURE OF CANNABUSINESSES IN MICHIGAN” Seminar held on Sept. 26 during the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Conference. Registration is required. Visit: 

And the Republicans want what the bills offer. An 8% excise tax on medical marijuana, and it is subject to the 6% state sales tax as well. Private licensed caregivers have provided all the marijuana for the state’s approx. 200 medical marijuana dispensaries; they are eliminated from doing so. Armored cars carrying pot? Yep. The minimum size commercial garden you can have is 500 plants, and business can grow as many as 1,500. Existing dispensaries can be shut down, and the barriers to entry in the new program are very exclusive. It’s a conservative win-win; business advances and potheads lose.

We have seen this fast track for favored bills in action before. In 2013, SB 660, the pot-for-pharmacies bill initiated by Canadian marijuana manufacturer Prairie Plant Systems via then-Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, was introduced, voted on in Committee, approved by the Senate, voted on by a House Committee, approved by the House, re-approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor within three months. That bill will not take effect until the federal government changes marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 on the drug classification scoring system used to determine the severity of a substance’s prohibition.


Advocates charge that Tuesday’s lubed-up legislative process is why people hate government. “This action by the House is an example of government at its worst,” said Jamie Lowell, co-founder of Ypsilanti’s 3rd Coast. That facility was the first dispensary licensed in the United States east of the Mississippi River. They’ve met city code and passed inspections for five years.

That sparkling record of achievement may be irrelevant under the new legal framework established by Kesto and bill sponsor Michael Callton, R-Nashville (pictured at right).

But it’s tough to know what is going to happen. HB 4209 H-4, the 55-page substitute bill containing the most radical change, had NEVER been featured on the state website or given to the public before Tuesday’s hearing. The Reps themselves were voting on a proposal they had not had time to read, let alone fully understand. Lawyers are reading over the language. Most of them are furious.

Attendees at the Judiciary Committee were furious with the process used to pass the bills. Within 15 minutes after the start of the hearing, Chairman Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township) had the Committee vote to add the massive substitute bill, dispensed with three pro-patient amendments, took individual approval votes on all three bills- and THEN started taking testimony from the citizens in attendance.

The three pro-patient amendments offered by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) included a provision to strike the tax on medical marijuana (it will be 8% plus a 6% sales tax) and eliminate the secure transport portion of the bill (requiring a third-party entity to purchase and own the cannabis from growers then resell it to dispensaries).  Swept aside by the Republican majority on the Committee.

Vote first, then find out how the people feel about the Bill. Backwards government. “Legislation by gotchya,” as Detroit attorney Matthew Abel described it. As the last speaker before the Committee, I let them know what they had done was wrong. It won’t matter.

“The fix is in,” one insider told me. “Can’t stop this now,” another said.


What clarity in the legislation there is to be had can be found in Flint on Saturday. The Michigan Cannabis Business Development Conference is scheduled for this Saturday, September 26. Speaking during the Conference are more than a half-dozen of the state’s top attorneys specializing in cannabis law; Robin Schneider, Legislative Chairperson for the National Patients Rights Association; and George Brikho, owner of the Edenz Hydro chain of stores and the principal in the Evergreen Management group.

Bethany Moore of the National Cannabis Industry Association will be speaking as well. She can answer questions about what other states have adopted, whether this proposal is radically different than what other states experience, and how networking together makes the industry strong in times like these.

There is not a better group of individuals to explain the details of the bills, and how they could change your life, anywhere in the state this weekend. The Conference features 9 different Seminars and the cost to attend is $150. Registration is required. Visit to register.

Michigan’s next big marijuana conference is a few short days away! Join Rick Thompson for the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Conference on September 26 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre. Marijuana Case Law Update, Legislative Review, so many other topics! 9 Seminars in all.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

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About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.

  • denbee

    Marijuana is simply a tool for politicians to gather around and conjure up solutions to problems that do not exist. All this ado is cementing the vote for outright legalization next year by voter initiative bypassing the fear mongers in Lansing. An end run around the lawmakers inability to pass sensible laws concerning cannabis. We need more voter initiatives, more jury annulments, more removing these dinosaurs from office. The People clearly want an alternative to alcohol and I do not think it is wise to get in their way. The alcohol industries monopoly must end and for many of us this is what cannabis legalization is all about. Give the People a SAFER choice. A less addictive choice. A less toxic choice. A less harmful choice. Alcohol kills hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly every year. Why are we not up in arms about that? Voter initiatives are the People answer to ignorance, to vested interests and to 70 year old dogma, lies and deception. Bring it on! I suspect the People know a bit more about cannabis than our politicians.

    • Tracy

      Regarding alcohol vs medical marijuana – I was married to an alcoholic for thirteen years. I was abused mentally, physically and verbally on a daily basis. Even almost strangled to death due to his alcohol problem. After kicking him out, divorcing and getting a ppo on this alcoholic, the problem didn’t quit even after three and a half years I’m still having to deal with it. I now am in a relationship with someone who uses medical marijuana for three and a half years and believe me who has personal experience with both sides of this issue, II Verrrry much wish they would outlaw alcohol and legalize marijuana. I KNOW that dui’s, domestic, assault and many other illegal offenses would be much much lower.

  • Kenneth Aaron

    $150 to attend says it all. Here comes the equiv of Phillip Morris. Prairie Plant Systems quality was so low that grannies went downtown, rather than smoke the pre powdered “Cannabis” product mandated for use in Canada through Prairie Plant systems. THey had already had massive failures in CA before Snyder signed up with them. It’s all about money going to those connected. SHAME

  • PhDScientist

    We need action taken at the federal level. This issue is a moral imperative at the level that ending segregation was and ensuring equal rights for all Americans is.
    Americans who are suffering, in pain or worst, dying, shouldn’t be denied the medication that can ease their suffering or even save their lives.
    Google Dravet’s syndrome.
    Google Marijuana is a wonder drug for the horrors of Chemo.
    We action taken at the federal level now.

  • PhDScientist

    I know that people who post here want marijuana to be legalized.
    What I wonder about it how badly they really want it.
    For American Children with seizure disorders who NEED medical marijuana its a matter of life and death.
    How hard is it to pick up the phone and call the W H I T E H O U S E comment line?
    If you really care — pick up the phone and call.

    • TheSeeker

      Call them and say what? Didn’t you ever read about the petition for legalization that came in number #1 on that site and the president just made a joke. They don’t care! The only way the feds will look at the issue is if enough states legalize it and force them.

  • PhDScientist

    We need action at the federal level. The current situation is downright nuts.

  • sharpss


    • TheSeeker

      They are going to push everyone into the black market for sure. Fucking everyone in michigan over with their bullshit laws.

  • Brandon

    I read these bills and nothing says that a licensed grower has to have at least 500 plants. I also do not see how entry requirements are “very exclusive”. In order to get a growing license, you must either have been a licensed caretaker for 2 years, or employ one. Your local governing board must also grant you permission. Another good point is that a licensed person or entity may not own more than 10% stake in another marijuana related business. 1500 plants maximum is not enough to meet any kind of demand. 90 plants per week would supply maybe 5-10 dispensaries? This isn’t exclusive and would allow for a bunch of people to have small businesses and flourish. What worries me the most, though, is how much a license will cost. I might start my own “secure transport” service, being as how I’ve been in the transportation industry most of my working life.

  • joplin42

    Pharmaceuticals are transported via cars and vans that are not considered ‘secure transport’ ….FYI….more deaths resulting in pharmaceutical consumption have occurred than all the heroine…cocaine….streets drugs combined. ….”Ever hear of anyone dying of a Marijuana overdose?”

  • SM

    They re going to form a monopoly its not legal but if they can take all the biasness for 2 or 3 years court battle they made billions. Use the government to get rid of all competitor. Misuse of there power . Same politicians that are already looking to take the industry . If we vote a tax on Marijuana they will use that money to kill the U.S growers. You will see a stamp made in Canada or Cuba on your bag . In this country big biasness is almost more powerful then American voter. shame right? NO TAX TILL FEDS GET ON BORD